This was an intriguing, but hard to enjoy movie. We watched a recording off of broadcast television (our only film source other than the library or an occasional RedBox) and even edited I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. Yet at the same time it presented some very interesting thoughts and dialog between me and my wife.
Entertainment Rating: C
Moral Rating: 2The violence in this movie is surely what made it R, but was really the crux of the whole movie, so it would be hard to take it out completely or even mostly out and still have a coherent/impactful story. Some of the strong themes that were presented dealt with nihilism, destiny, and agency.
The entire film was nihilistic (as are most Coen brother films). The opening line was rather haunting and hopeless. The single reference to God portrays Him as distant and unkind:
"always figured when I got older, God would sorta come inta my life somehow. And he didn't. I don't blame him. If I was him I would have the same opinion of me that he does."Atrocious events were talked about as if they were everyday occurrences. Chighur was a god-like figure in that when he said something, he'd do it (executing justice as written by his own law) and only occasionally give people a weak chance to change their "destiny".
Lewellyn's choices basically led to his and his wife's death. He was completely aware of what he had to do to prevent that (some faith would have to be exercised), but the 2 million dollars was just too much to let go of. Greed was another element in the film. The ironic part is that Lewellyn actually had some compassion on the Mexicans and it ended up being the Mexicans who killed him, not Chighur.