{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

A Serious Man

A Serious Man starts with a quote - "Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you", but our luckless hero (Larry Gopnik - Michael Stuhlbarg in an absolutely brilliant performance) dares to ask what if he does and still be miserable, and yes, our poor hero is text book miserable kind - with his student black mailing him, his son is smoking weed, his daughter stealing his money for a nose job, his jobless brother living with him and getting in trouble and to give an extra kick, his wife having an affair with his best friend and asking for a divorce because its the "reasonable" thing to do. Given this unusually downbeat plot, its a wonder how Coen brothers keep it up so strongly that there is not a dull moment. A Serious Man can be easily mistaken for a smart guy making fun of somebody in utter despair, but for the Coens undeniable empathy for Larry and their sincere quest to find an answer to his misery gives this film both its soul and its humor. Although there are no answers to our hero's plight, but Coen's lends a hand of understanding and reflection to their bleakest comedy (their beautiful vision of God expectorating on us). After Larry's search, is he wiser now or is he more hopeless (because he is wiser) is Larry's new dilemma. He should, as a rabbi advised him, "Accept the Mystery".

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