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Movie Review Of Fargo Film Studies Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 892 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Fargo, the first time that I heard that name, I could not see how the name had anything to do with the movie. At first I thought maybe it was the name of a character in the movie but after watching the movie I came to learn that it was the mane of where most of the movie was based around; Fargo North Dakota. Fargo is a 1996 movie done by the Coen Brothers. This movie is also based on a true story which, after you watch it, you feel terrible for the victims. I would say that this movie is a dark comedy. I say this because the plot and the form of the movie have this dark but comedic aspect. The Brainerd accents have a very unthreatening way to the way it is used and due to the innocence of the accents; it throws off the seriousness of the situation. A main character in the film who gives off more of a comedic aspect is the seven month pregnant chief of police from Brainerd Minnesota Marge Olmsted. I doubt the director(s) were going for a comedic aspect to the film, but with the accents, and constant use of the word “Yaa”, you couldn’t help but laugh occasionally.

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The movie Fargo is about a nerdy, mild mannered, shady Executive car salesman named Jerry Lundergard who falls heavily into unexplained debt and comes up with a seemingly genius idea to hire some criminals to kidnap his wife. The reason for the pre conceived kidnap is to retrieve a ransom for her safe return, and get the money from her father who is a wealthy businessman. In the process of Lundergard and his accomplices going forth with their plan, things start to get out of control and eventually Marge Olmsted, the Brainerd Minnesota chief of police gets involved and starts investigating three coincidental murders that occur in her city. Marge’s character is a likeable polite character who seems after a while to be one of the only competent people in the whole town. The main characters in this film to pay attention to were Jerry Lundergard; a seemingly unstable character, he is shown to be desperate and insecure and there was even a scene after his wife was kidnapped where he practices his distress call to make it seem believable. Predictably, as the murder investigation broadens and starts to lead back to him, he starts to break down emotionally. Throughout the movie they never explained what exactly his debt was for. Marge Olmsted; Brainerd Chief of police; Carl plays the small time crook who is described literally as the “smaller, funny looking kind of guy by all those who came in contact with him and lived. Carl is a very talkative and vulgar kind of guy but seems to have some emotion for murder. His partner on the other hand, Gaer is of European decent. Seemingly quiet but composed character although he commits most of the murders showed in the film. He is a heavy smoker and is shown until towards the end to be more like Carl’s back up with muscle. This movie housed a couple of big named actors of their time. Some of which I know to still be in the acting business. Carl’s character and Jerry’s character were played by Steve Buscemi, and William H. Macy, which to me, were the only two recognizable stars in the movie. Carl is known for such movies as Reservoir Dogs, and William is known for movies like Cellular, Wild Hogs, and Thank You for Smoking. This movie does a good job in showing the gender role differences in Marge’s growing family. In her introduction scene where she and her husband first come into the picture, they show how the gender roles are reversed. Usually, it would be the man who is the chief of police and his wife is the stay at home parent who takes care of the backup stuff. In the Olmsted household, Marge’s husband Norm is the reversed gender role character. He is never shown to be at work or ever even doing any kind of work for that matter, and she is the one with the seven month pregnancy. He makes her breakfast in the morning, brings her lunch to work, and always talks about his painting but somehow their relationship seems to work. Marge is also shown to have a pretty big appetite which is totally understandable due to the fact that she is eating for two and always makes the joke “can I have a seat?”, “I;m carrying quite a load here”. The movie as based on true events starts to get a lot darker and grittier than the expectations of a dark comedy. The ransom exchange scene where the father gets killed semi brutally is a turning point of how serious and out of control things got; He was shot numerous times unnecessarily, and even the ending scene where the European criminal is shown grinding up his partner in a wood chipper and blood is being sprayed everywhere. This movie did not rely on scenery or music to help tell the story. In fact, the scenery was mostly white and snowy because it seemed to be shot in the winter time. There was music, but the music was not done in such a way that it would give away parts of the story. The directors claim that out of respect for the dead, the film was depicted as is. Names were changed though to protect the identities of those who survived. Overall, this movie was beyond my expectations but still was able to hold my interests enough for me to really enjoy the movie while giving my regards to those who unfortunately lost their lives.


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