No Country For Old Men

No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-Western thriller film directed, written, and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin, it tells the story of a Texas welder and Vietnam veteran to whom chance and greed deliver a fate that is neither wanted nor denied; a cat-and-mouse drama set in the desert landscape of 1980 West Texas. It won four awards at the 80th Academy Awards –Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Bardem) and Best Adapted Screenplay, allowing the Coen brothers to join four previous directors honored three times for a single film. In addition, the film won three British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) including Best Director, and two Golden Globes.

The setting is in Terrell County, Texas in the desert like location of a desolate and large landscape. We heard Ed Tom Bell, the sheriff of the count, talking about he increasing violence in a region where he, like his father and grandfather before him, has risen to the office of sheriff. In a neighbouring county, assassin / hitman Anton Chigurgh, using the handcuffs, strangles to death the deputy who arrested him to escape custody and steals a car by using a captive bolt pistol to kill the driver. We then move to the desert where Llewelyn Moss is hunting deer and comes across the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong. He finds dead bodies and a briefcase containing 2 million dollars and also finds the lone Mexican survivor, badly wounded and who begs him for water. Moss takes the briefcase and hides it at his small home but goes back to the scene late at night with some water.

He is ambushed by two men in a truck and they release a dog to hunt him. He shoots the dog dead and rushes home he sends his wife, Carla Jean, to stay with her mother, then drives to a motel in Del Rio, where he hides the case in the air vent of his room. Chigurgh hired to recover the money, abruptly kills his employers after obtaining a clue to Moss’s identity. Arriving to search Moss’s home, he uses his bolt pistol to blow the lock out of the door. Investigating the break in, Sheriff Bell notices the blown-out locktracks. Chigurgh tracks Moss using a chip embedded in the briefcase and kills a group of Mexican who were planning to ambush Moss and had rented the room next to him. Moss is able to escape before Chigurgh can get to him but is found in another hotel in Eagle Pass and a shootout ensues. Both are wounded and Moss makes his way across the border into Mexico and collapses and is taken to a hospital.

Carson Wells, another hired operative, fails to persuade him to accept protection in return for the money. Chigurh cleans and stitches his own wounds with stolen supplies and kills Wells at his hotel. Moss telephones the room and Chigurh answers. Lifting his boots to avoid Wells’s blood, Chigurh tells Moss that he will kill Carla Jean unless Moss gives up the money; he remarks that he will kill Moss regardless of whether he receives the money. Moss calls Carla and tells her to meet him at a motel where he will give her the money and she should fly away with her mother to be safe. nstead, she reluctantly accepts protection for her husband from Sheriff Bell. Carla Jean’s mother unwittingly reveals Moss’s location to a group of Mexicans who had been tailing them. Bell reaches the rendezvous in time to hear gunshots and see a pickup truck speeding from the motel where Moss lies dead. Carla arrives as night approaches and sobs sadly. Later Bell comes back to the crime scene where Chigurgh is also hiding and sees that the vent cover has been removed and the duct is empty.

Later, Bell visits his uncle Ellis, an ex-lawman, and tells him he plans to retire because he feels “over-matched”. Ellis points out that the region has always been violent. Carla’s mother dies soon after and after the funeral she walks into the house to find Chigurgh waiting for her. He tosses a coin and asks her to call it but she refuses stating that the choice is his own. Chigurgh leaves the house (unsure if he killed her or not but probably did) and as he leaves the neighbourhood he is hurt badly in a car crash. Bribing two youngsters who witness the crash, he quietly makes his way out. As the movie ends, a now retured Bell tells his wife of two dreams he had the previous night about his father.

Amazing cinematography during the desert scenes and well acted and shot. The ambiguous ending left made people baffled and also killing Moss offscreen didn’t make much sense to us. Anyway you look at it the movie is really good and despite the initial 25 mins or so when it drags a bit, it’s a movie worth watching. 8 outta 10!

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