Saturday, October 25, 2008

Burn After Watching

We went to the Cable Car last night to see the latest Coen Brothers film, Burn After Reading. It's a pretty standard Coen Bros. production. I enjoyed the movie while we were watching it, but once I got home and started to think about it again, a lot of things started to bother me. The Coens tend to make movies about deeply and/or tragically flawed people who find themselves in a relatively run-of-the mill sticky situation that they somehow manage to escalate into a tragedy. Burn After Reading follows this formula, but raises the stakes by making every single character tragically flawed. Not only does no one ever really manage to do the right thing in this movie, it's not always clear why they are willing to do such dangerous/illegal/unethical things. Perhaps I'm expecting too much from a screwball black comedy, but I think this movie would have been better with a little bit more depth and a little bit less breadth in the character department.

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