The Big Lebowski
Of indecypherable genre and scope, the piece primarily focuses on the Dude (Jeff Bridges). Invoking the buddy comedy, spaghetti westerns, absurdism and elements of criminal thrillers, it is only by on the lead’s steadfast calm that the piece does not spiral completely out of control like “A Serious Man” or “Burn After Reading”.
A plethora of ideas and concepts, jokes hurtling by with nauseating frequency does not automatically endear us towards the characters themselves, each suffering in terms of development and ability.
Bridges haemorrhages charisma but his character is such a passive lead, it’s impossible to sustain interest in him long term. Of course no one ever asks for their troubles in these productions, inaction and a complete lack of common sense absolving them of any guilt.
Thus the largest part of the movie’s story (covering a rug, a kidnapped wife and multiple tidbits) passes to the supporting cast, a pantheon of individuals so unhinged, so skewed, they might be may be entertaining but grate at times.
In spite of these glaring errors in conception, the brothers are intent on positing these oddballs as superior to everyone else, as if ignorance is true bliss. Bridges revels in his character’s simplicity, illustrating a collected intelligence that while not always immediately noticeable is never far from the surface. He alone breaks free from the issues laden upon him in a way they cannot.
For the most part the brothers retain their omnipresence above the action, a relatively clear hand guiding the action. Even with the relative anarchy, there is a restraint and largely informed writing neglected in their other comedies. Rarely are they possessed of such comic timing.
“What in God’s holy name are you blathering about?” they ask, a question I at least am incapable of answering. What’s important, is the Dude never worries about the little things and neither should we.