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Fargo: A Deeper Look Essay

2087 words - 9 pages

Discovering meaning in anything throughout one’s life is completely subjective to the individual. The same can be said about films. Not one person will be affected in the exact same way as another just by viewing the same film. The complexities of individuality create a bank of receptors to be reached by creative minds; at times they are successful and other times they are not. Films are filled with a variety of meanings that can easily conflict with one another. In 1996, Ethan and Joel Coen created the film “Fargo” which attempts to subtly replicate the complexities of human nature in small town Brainerd, Wisconsin. The Coen brothers created a film of seemingly predictable people ...view middle of the document...

The ransom provided by the father-in-law would be split in half for the kidnappers and Jerry Lundegaard would keep the rest. The idea of greed is what begins Fargo and slowly builds throughout the entire film. The theme of greed continues within the kidnappers Carl, played by Steve Buscemi, and Gaear, played by Peter Stormare. Greed causes an escalation of the situation when Gaear murdered three people after the kidnapping. Afterwards they tell Jerry Lundergaard that they need all the money because of unforeseen complications. By the end of the film the greed has grown even more causing yet, another murder and ultimately is the reason Gaear was caught. The Coen brothers used greed as the theme that their intended audience can relate to but they also used it as the cause of the destruction of Jerry, Carl, and Gaear’s world. Greed is one of the most relatable situations in modern society; the desires that drive the human population to succeed or take drastic measures and fail miserably. This successful portrayal of possible consequences caused by greed makes the film have qualities of realism.
This realism also has been translated into other areas of the film. By making characters more relatable and significant in the eyes of the viewer the Coen brothers expanded their audience base. Writing a script with seemingly normal characters that are flawed can be difficult. However, in this film the Coen brothers captured human nature in manner that the presented the characters by showing this nature in the relationships between the other characters. By analyzing the character’s relationships with other characters of the film one can begin to understand how complex these characters are. With this understanding the Coen brothers were able to create a solid foundation to build the screenplay on.
Beginning with the relationship of Jeannie and Jerry Lundegaard. Jeannie and Jerry have a very typical relationship; Jerry is the breadwinner and Jeannie is a stay-at-home mother. Their relationship comes off as very superficial almost as though they are going through motions. Jeannie mainly functions as a pawn that is exchanged between the other characters through the film. This treatment of Jeannie by Jerry reveals that Jerry has more desire to have money than a healthy relationship with his wife at this point in his life.
Next, the analysis relationship of Marge and Norm Gunderson is more abnormal. Marge and Norm do not have a stereotypical relationship. Their relationship roles are actually reversed according to traditional gender roles. Marge being a successful and respected police-chief and Norm a stay-at-home man devoted to painting. Besides the typical associations of gender, such as breadwinner and homemaker being reversed there is a hidden role reversal that occurs. When Marge goes to Minneapolis, she dolls herself up and goes out with an old school friend, Mike Yanagita. This behavior can be viewed as the “wandering eye in the...

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