Monday, March 29, 2010

What if the Coen brothers had written the Old Testament?

****Spoiler Alert*********

We all know the story of Job, right? God brags on him to Satan, and Satan says, "yeah sure Job's your boy, but he's got it made, so why shouldn't he be. I bet he's just a fair weather friend". Then God said, "Let's find out", and proceeded to hammer Job with all sorts of travails and afflictions. Job's friends (comforters) said "Job: curse God and die" but Job said something like, "even if he kills me, I will still love him".

I finally saw the Coen brothers movie, "A Serious Man", which to my mind is a modern retelling of the story of Job with one crucial twist: when it comes to onion time, the Coens' protagonist flinches and sins.

And in the movie, an instant after the sin, it appears like the protagonist and his son are both going to die.

Probably pretty accurate?

Oh, I guess if you haven't read the Old Testament (or seen the movie), I have got some serious spoilers in this post!


Anonymous said...

"A Serious Man" is, IMHO, the best movie I've seen in quite some time--probably in years. I think it's actually got more than that "one crucial twist" on the story of Job. In the story of Job, the existence and petty motives of God are not concealed from the reader; ASM is a deep exploration of the unknowability of the meaning of life/the universe. Hence Schrodinger's cat and the opening vignette. Even though things don't look good for the characters in the end of the movie, we're ultimately left with serious doubt about their fate.

While the narrative of the two stories is similar, I think the effect is different. Maybe ASM is what the story of Job must have looked likefrom Job's point of view. By putting the man upstairs behind an impenetrable vail the Coens add some really rich layers to the story.

Angus said...

Very well put, Sir/Madam! I pretty much accept your amendments fully.