Review of A Serious Man (2009)

7 Dec

A Serious Man (2009) is a dark comedy/drama film, made by one of the most well-known filmmaker teams working today, Coen brothers.

Directed by Joel Coen (Blood Simple. (1984), Raising Arizona (1987)) and Ethan Coen (The Ladykillers (2004), No Country For Old Men (2007)).

Written by (unsurprisingly) Ethan Coen (Crimewave (1985), Miller’s Crossing (1990)) and Joel Coen (Barton Fink (1991), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)).

Starring: Michael Suhlbarg, Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Fred Melamed and others.

The film starts off with a short film, which is there for no other reason than to set the mood for the rest of the film. But I don’t know if it actually succeeded with me, because it has no connection with the film whatsoever. It’s an interesting idea by itself to start it like that, but I found it unnecessary and if you don’t know its purpose, you’ll probably be confused by this weird sequence. This exemplifies how much freedom Coen brothers had with this film.

It is a comedic movie, but there’s no actual jokes, it’s more about the feeling it invokes when you watch the main character get frustrated as his life becomes more and more absurd. I didn’t think it got draggy at parts or was particularly slow overall, but I also didn’t find it all that entertaining.

Although I could say it is accessible to all audiences, it seems to be more targeted towards the Jewish audience members.

The acting is definitely top-notch, all the actors are perfectly cast. The cast doesn’t have any big names in it. My favourite was Richard Kind, I’ve actually liked him everywhere I’ve seen him.

Its strongest part is without doubt the visual style. It’s a really, really beautiful looking movie. The cinematography is just great. In modern cinema, with all the digital color correction, you actually rarely see a film with such nice, lush colors, that you feel like you could drink them. So that would be my main reason to recommend the film.

I feel like a year from now I won’t be able to remember anything about this movie, because it lacked anything that would make it memorable for me and it seems to me that Coen brothers didn’t care if it sells well or not. They made it because they wanted to and now finally they had the chance to whatever they wanted.

I think it is an extremely well-made movie, but it didn’t really speak to me, so I can’t say I liked it very much, but I can recommend it, if you’re the kind of person, who likes festival movies. Also it’s worth to see just for the visuals alone.

"Next week there's gonna be a test on this. On huge blackboards that is."

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