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Fargo back to product details

The Fargo Fable
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written by johelinedvd March 19, 2002 - 9:35 AM PST
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Fargois one of those movies that makes you cry laughing, makes you wince and shield your eyes, and sticks in your head for days making you wonder why it affected you so much. If you are a fan of the Coen brothers, then you are in for a treat. It is filled with your favorite Coen's players (including Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi) and imbued with that distinctively Coen sensibility, humor, wit, and visual flare (think of a cross of Blood Simpleand Miller's Crossing). Fargois a wildly funny flick with quirky characters and incredibly nuanced performances (especially William H. Macy, in probably his finest role).
But if it were simply a black comedy (that, unlike many recent black comedies, is actually funny), it would easily fade from memory. Fargois more than a comedy, a farce, a crime capper, or an extraneous gore fest.
Fargois also a modern fable about desperate and pathetic lives; their pettiness, stupidity, and inconsiderateness; and the degree people will go to break out of their situation. This includes Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), who has gotten himself into such a hole, he has to arrange the kidnapping of his own wife. Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell) who can't extend himself to help his own son-in-law out, because it's not the best business choice. Carl (Steve Buscemi) who blows a chance at riches over a stupid car. In the end, Fargoillustrates that these people can never escape their plight(no matter how hard they try) because they can't escape from themselves and all their own flaws. It?s the concerted weaving of every scene and every performance to underscore this point that elevates Fargointo one of the great movies in recent history.


Funny at times, but unsavory too
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written by oldkingcole March 13, 2002 - 1:54 AM PST
4 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Fargo has Steve Buscemi and William H. Macy -- two exceptional actors -- and it has some funny moments. But like most Coen brothers films I've seen, Fargo is about stupid people. William H. Macy's character needs cash (we never find out exactly why) and his ex-con Native American auto mechanic friend sets him up with two not-so-bright thugs who Macy hires to kidnap his wife so that he can get a large sum of ransom money from his wife's wealthy father. The plot is interesting enough, and Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare are both interesting as the thugs (especially Buscemi who has the kind of nervous gabbiness that makes it impossible for him to shut up for more than a couple of seconds at a time), but the film is kept from greatness by a fatal flaw that nearly kills it: the phony Norwegian accents affected by nearly everyone in the cast. These accents are meant to be funny, and I think that that is actually the main problem -- it comes across as if the filmmakers are making fun of these people by picking on their accents. The combination of making the characters kind of dimwitted plus giving them the fake accents gives the joke at the characters' expense the unsavory flavor of racism. I was never able to completely get past this problem. And frankly, I feel that the TV show, "Northern Exposure", which predates Fargo by several years, did a much better job of telling tales about a cast of similarly quirky characters without saddling them with phony accents or that hint of bigotry. I give Fargo 3 stars out of 5.

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(Average 8.22)
519 Votes
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