Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fargo (1996)

A car salesman (William H. Macy) who is strapped for cash hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap  his wife so that his wealthy father-in-law will shell out a nice ransom. Things get complicated from there...

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Though no real plot spoilers are contained within the following paragraph, reading said paragraph prior to seeing Fargo is likely to drastically alter the way in which you approach the film. Unless of course you don't care about that...

Like many people, I took the text at the opening of Fargo at face value. I watched it believing 100% that I was watching a, "true story" - wood-chipper and all. It wasn't until years later that I learned the truth. While elements and situations were taken from various "real stories", the characters and events depicted in Fargo are completely fictitious. A small part of me wishes that I could go back to square one and re-see this film for the fist time either knowing it to be fake or completely blind and assuming it to be fake. Would I respond to it differently? Does being told something is "true" make me (or anyone) more willing to accept the odd or unusual? And even more interesting: How would I react if I was then told that what I thought to be a fictional film, was really a true story? While I can theorize how I might react in these hypothetical situations, I can never really know the truth. Try as I might, it's impossible to ever re-see a film for the first time. You can't go home again. Once you've gone through that looking glass, there is no going back, etc. In the end I'm glad I saw the film the way I did because I find it to be brilliant. Perhaps if I had come to it another way I would have hated it. Who knows?

Did any readers out there get to experience this film in a way different from me? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section.

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