The Big Lebowski Reviews
The Big Lebowski
It is odd to encounter a sketchy comic feautre by Coen Brothers and the exciting part is that they do pull it off not like the other genre that they are familiar with but the writing is quite powerful and funny at the same time. And on terms of execution there is no doubt on that part as they score majestically on projecting the anticipated vision on screen. On performance level Jeff Bridges is hilarious along with a great supporting cast like John Goodman and Julianne Moore (she is surprisingly funnier than any other cast member). The Big Lebowski had a great potential concept that is piled upon setting the plot and characters way too much that the joke grows shallow and numb when it hits on screen no matter how much they have worked on building it up.
Una obra maestra, con un excelente guión y una genial dirección. The Big Lebowski es probablemente uno de los films más memorables del cine noventero estadounidense.
To get the visual aspect out of the way: there really is nothing to write home about here. Sure, there are some nice shots here and there, but apart from a few nice locations and the occasional trippy special effect montage, scenes are ... generic.
The story in "The Big Lebowski" is fairly unique, albeit for its significant unimportance (as said by the writers themselves). Summarised: A mundane, hippyish stoner dude, Jeff Lebowski (more often going by the nickname of "The Dude") is mistaken by a bunch of German mobsters for a rich and famous Korean-war veteran with the same exact name. They break into The Dude's home, assault him, and pee on his rug. Thus, The Dude's quest becomes to find a similar rug, because "that rug really tied to room together", as he frequently states. In the process, he gets involved in a (plausibly staged) kidnapping - which is never actually resolved during the movie - and comes into contact with various weird characters, all whilst being accompanied by his evenly weird friend Walter: a numbskull, bowling Vietnam-war veteran.
As a viewer, I had no idea what anything in the movie would lead up to. One could say a bit of obscurity is a good thing, but having NO direction takes away from overall experience. As such, all characters stay frustratingly flat the entire time.
Weirdly enough, the unimportance of "The Big Lebowski"'s story is what makes it relatively enjoyable; clearly, the only focal point is that The Dude doesn't care, which is most probably why the film is so popular. The only realisation a new audience has to make, is that it doesn't have to expect the movie to go anywhere, just like "The Big Lebowski" doesn't pretend to be a film to expect anything from.
Rewatching this for the first time since I originally saw it in 2015, it's definitely better than I remember and I did appreciate it more. Undeniably well-made, endlessly quotable and with two fantastic lead performances from Jeff Bridges and John Goodman, this is one hell of an enjoyable ride. I still think it's a bit inconsequential, like most of the Coen Brothers' comedies, but the characters are strong enough to make the film worthwhile anyway.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
[Joel & Ethan Coen]