BURN AFTER READING (Coen Bros.)


Watching a Coen Bros. film is like going to Jollibee when we were still kids-it excites you like hell. Watching a Coen Bros. movie for the second viewing is like awaiting for your salary on payday- the shit cannot be contained. 

This is the first time I have seen a Coen Bros. film for the second time- I saw THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE in the technicolor version, and when I found out the Coens intended it to be B&W, I quickly got hold of a copy of the original B&W. So far such copy is sitting at home.

I also want to watch A SERIOUS MAN sometime in the future for the second time; that film is so hideously deep in meanings I did not fully understood everything.

I have yet to watch for the first time BLOOD SIMPLE, BARTON FINK, and RAISING ARIZONA. My next on the list is THE BIG LEBOWSKI, since I quickly became a Jeff Bridges fan upon seeing TRON LEGACY.

Oh wait, I did see NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN twice. See I hated it upon first viewing-I thought it was boring. I favored P.T. Anderson's THERE WILL BE BLOOD as Best Picture.

As I saw NCFOM again, I revered it as an instant classic; Anton Chigurh is friggin hilarious.

Back to the Coen's funniest film I have seen: BURN AFTER READING. In case you haven't seen this yet, in which case you're a total dummy, this is the short version:

Malkovich who plays a demoted CIA analyst writes his memoir, and saves it onto a computer; His wife played by Tilda Swinton is sleeping with a womanizing Marshal played by Clooney. Meanwhile, a negligent act lands the confidential memoir (in CD form) in the hands of two bumbling characters who are members of the "League of Morons", as Malkovich character puts it: Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand who are employees at HardBodies, a gym run by Richard Jenkins.

The morons try to blackmail Malkovich for money; McDormand is obsessed about plastic surgery; and in a later scene, and one of my most favorite, Clooney is obsessed about carrots.

Pitt and McDormand, having been denied financial reward by Malkovich, suddenly and moronically goes to the Russians. The Russians are laughing their ass over at the bogus file.

So go figure the plot, a mishmash of sexual indiscretions, office politics, morons, espionage, and physical fitness. 

In BURN AFTER READING, the Coens' expose a neurotic and oftentimes comedic side of average people you'd probably bump off when you stroll in DC. Spy work has never been this fun.

As always, the common element present in every Coens' film is here: the clueless character who gets pitted in a web of intrigue and mixups. In their other films, it's always one or two characters; in here, all of the names you see in the poster above are clueless characters devoid of what's going on.

Only one knows everything that is going on: the viewer. 

There is always one element predictable in every Coens' film: unpredictability. And yes, someone always dies, and the blood spatter is always gratuitously satisfying, usually close up. 

RATING: 5/5


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