O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a very story-like story with Coen-istic glaringly individual characters, smartly written story with twists, borderline bizarre events, ups and downs sometimes bordering on surreal, and great cinematography and acting.
That about sums it up, but, I have a few more comments.
I had no idea where the title came from until I checked the trivia about the movie. The starting credits mention that the movie is inspired by Homer’s Odyssey but I haven’t read that epic and I know next to nothing about it. So even though the movie is generally highly rated and critically acclaimed, I missed a lot of finer points solely due to my ignorance and hence my rating of 3/5. It is not as impressive to me as it could have been if I wasn’t so ignorant about the numerous references involved in the story.
However, I still found it an entertaining watch and I’m genuinely motivated to read more and, well, not be so ignorant.
I loved all the music in the movie. So much so that I’m tagging this a ‘musical’ because I feel the movie would loose a lot of charm for me if it didn’t have such good songs and music. Music has one of the key roles in the plot as well, so even though this isn’t a musical, I’ll carry this impression about it from now on.
George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson were cast perfectly and acted brilliantly. They drew me into the story and I was completely involved with the characters throughout the movie. I love the way their characters were written and all the stereotypes associated with them. Like I mention in the beginning, this is a very story-like story, but it is an engaging and enhancing point.
All the supporting cast was awesome as well, and among the minor characters, I liked Pappy O’Daniel and his boys quite a lot. I like how he gets his happy ending and Homer Stokes turns out to be the KKK Grand Wizard. That was a fun minor storyline.
Honestly, there’s nothing to dislike about the movie, not one scene. What I love about Coen brothers is that every single scene is very impressionable and this movie was no different in that aspect.
However, unlike other Coen movies, the bizarre didn’t feel bizarre enough and that is my only nitpicking complaint here.
Since I have an arson’s alter ego, I love all the fire scenes and I love how Coen movies handle these fire scenes. Coen movies always have so much to be analysed that I will probably watch this again after reading Odyssey and all the internet information already available for it. That is my number one reason to watch Coen movies, after all – they are a cult.