Anthony's Film Review

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

The humorous and fun adventures of three men through the deep South...

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is an adaptation of a story previously written in another medium. Is it a book written in the 20th century? No. What about the 19th century? Not even close. Believe it or not, this movie is based on Homer's Odyssey, one of the oldest stories ever conceived in human history. What does this have to do with a movie that takes place in the Southern United States in the 1930s? Well, who says an adaptation has to follow every detail of its source? The bare bones story is what's important, right?

OK, I'm not going to be comparing O Brother, Where Art Thou? with Odyssey. I mention Homer's work simply because I took it as a sign of how creative the Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan) can be. With lighthearted comedies such as The Big Lebowski and darker films like Fargo, it's easy to see how this filmmaking duo can be so versatile. Plus, they can capture the details of people in a certain geographical region, though arguably in a somewhat exaggerated way. Still, the Coen brothers seem to be a good choice for writing and directing a movie taking place in the America South, loosely inspired by Homer's Odyssey.

The movie, in my opinion, is just OK. At least the situations aren't boring and there are a few laughs here and there. Basically, George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson are three convicts who manage to escape a penal farm. In the beginning, we see them trying to jump onto a passing train. However, because they're chained together, they almost make it but don't. This scene did generate a laugh from me, so at least that's a start.

The entire movie is a continuous adventure through various places where the three men face different situations. Many times, they try to hide but are close to getting caught, as George Clooney twice says, "Damn! We're in a tight spot!" They also hide out in a movie theater where the other convicts from the same penal farm unexpectedly show up. And if that isn't intense enough, how about an encounter with the Ku Klux Klan and a musical number with George Clooney singing?

Though I can't give the movie any more credit, I can give it some. It made me laugh a couple of times, and I liked the three main characters enough to want to follow their every move. If you're a fan of the Coen brothers and/or George Clooney, you have at least one reason to enjoy O Brother, Where Art Thou? Is there anything that could make the movie better? Sure, like more humor, more surprises in the plot, that sort of thing. But at least George Clooney is singing in this movie. As average as the movie is, that scene alone is worth the price of admission.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about O Brother, Where Art Thou?, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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