"Fargo" by Yojimbo
Following the blizzard (ahem) of hype surrounding the Coen brothers' latest, I thought I'd revisit an old favourite. The Coens once again revisit noir, but at their most playful which is obvious from the opening screen that proclaims "THIS IS A TRUE STORY". It isn't. It deconstructs the genre, transporting it's elements from the shadowy streets of the big city to the bright white snow covered open spaces of Minnesota. The crime is investigated by Marge Gundersson, a waddling, heavily pregnant housewife whose cheery agony aunt approach to the investigation is a million miles from the hard-nosed tough guys we are used to. The crime is planned not by a criminal mastermind, but a cowardly used car salesman with ideas above his station, and perpetrated by a pair of inept and seedy small time crooks. The crime is solved not by a convoluted set of crosses and double crosses, but by a common sense investigation full of amusingly mundane idiosyncrasies which contrasts with the gruesome murders that result. "And all for what? For a little bit of money. I just don't understand." If you don't love it, you just don't get it.