Star Rating (movie): 5 on 5
Star Rating (series): 5 on 5
Star Rating (MOVIE+SERIES): 6 on 5
Must Watch? If you don’t, you’re not living up to your full potential as a seeker of the good things. This is many good things, all rolled into a delicious ball of order-in-for-two-full-days. In other words, Watch it!
Despite being a die-hard Coen Brothers fan and especially of Fargo (the movie), it took me a while to get to the TV series with the same name, which is loosely based on the movie itself.
I usually wait for the whole thing to end or at least a full season. The moment it began, I ditched the hope of a detailed description of the events portrayed in the movie. However, the movie’s atmosphere and borderline fermented music score (which is devilishly woven into many strangely apt scenes) is beautifully replicated here, in the series. Masterfully executed. I think a classic should be left alone. Go make something new! But this one, the movie’s essence is so precisely captured just by choosing a few thematic elements to stick with, while sneakily pulling the rug right out from under you with the actual plotline itself. The operative word here being essence, of course. The Coen Brothers surely must either have had something to do with these choices, or are secretly related to Noah Hawley (creator of the TV series).
The calm madness in the eyes of the sociopaths, the almost unreal niceties of Minnesota’s small town folk who, on account of suppressing much of their true feelings, only truly discover themselves through their acquaintances with said sociopaths and of course, the racing pulse that’s always in the background. Absolutely psychologically gruesome, but SO enjoyable!
The filmmakers have also cleverly stitched the second season to the first, keeping you guessing for a while. It takes you right into the heart of things several decades in the past. And it stays there. Season One’s faint connection with it, which gave it life much like the movie did for the first one. Gone. Faded. Then connections appear. All I got was the rug pulled right out from under my feet all over again. Kirsten Dunst’s stellar performance itself was salve enough to soothe my feet which are now in direct contact with the floor while the most brilliantly-drawn characters come to life in front of my eyes.
Season Three took me by surprise. The familiarity with things was a bit unnerving. Don’t get me wrong, it still is brilliantly executed with some scenes being perfectly designed to stretch out as much as possible and with depth and richness, only to snap away in a flash. The familiarity with cinematography, clever whispered undertones of entendre and phantom subtext that says something else altogether and, of course, the SERIOUS character umami, are still there to enjoy but now there’s something tying it to reality.
Truths and stories. Both. Both artful and brutal, both intelligent and existential, both awe inspiring and creepy. Left me dumbstruck. The Coen Brothers have influenced cinema deeply. Conspiracies (and there will be many theories soon) about conspirators is a fundamental plot twist in cinema, which is used so wisely throughout Fargo. I’m just looking forward to the fourth season keeping in mind all the blog material I’m going to have to sift through between now and then.
The writer is a coffee roaster, vaping enthusiast, cinema buff and seeker of unique stories....