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Old 11-18-2007, 03:09 PM   #241
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This is kind of why I really want to read the book, because I imagine McCarthy has much more to say that what's hinted at on the screen.

I will say that I found TLJ's final scene, the recollection of the dream, to be one of the more haunting things I've seen in a while. I'd like to see the film again so I can compare this to his monologue at the beginning of the film.

The story definitely has the feeling of a foregone conclusion to it, and I liked the way that Chigurh stated it so plainly in his phone conversation with Moss. Moss' wife seems to acknowledge this finality while Moss is some way oblivious to it.

I am curious to hear what you think of Chigurh's final scene. Do you think it relates to the scene before with Carla Jean? I'm not sure I understand exactly what to make of what happens to him.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:19 PM   #242
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I think we're going to get into spoiler territory now, so out of courtesy, I'll mark this:


NO COUNTRY SPOILERS!!!! STOP READING NOW FOOLS!!!!!






First of all, I definitely think Chigurh killed Carla Jean. There's been some debate online about that, so I wanted to put out my interpretation. I think Carla denied the coin toss, which I believe is Chigurh's way of somewhat getting around his strict moral code, his way of twisting fate, so he felt the need to follow through on his promise, and kill her.

It's also fascinating how he casually checks his boots when he steps out of the house. He's obviously not effected by his conscience, which I do believe he has, but his believe in fate is so strong, he's simply doing the will of God or the Universe or Nature or what have you.

The last scene where he gets in the car crash is possibly my favorite in the film. I'm not entirely sure what to get from it, but I have and have heard several interpretations. I believe it's important for two reasons. One is the outcome of the crash. Not only does he not die (if he's the tool of fate, it lends a sense of immortality to him), but he hardly registers the pain or injury. Secondly we see him interact not only casually but kindly to the three children, who one might originally assume a standard psychopath would merely harass or kill to get what he needs. He even pays the kid for his shirt, which offers more insight into Chigurh's peculiar ethical and moral beliefs. That scene also obviously parallels the similar scene with Moss, highlighting the differences in their resolve and characters.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:34 PM   #243
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NO COUNTRY SPOILERS!!!! STOP READING NOW FOOLS!!!!!


I like what you've come up with a lot. There's one point where I think Woody says that he's not a psychopath, or something to that effect. Which makes sense because he's not just running around society killing people at random (a mass murderer) or based on some kind of profile (a serial killer); he's been hired to do a job, and is going through whomever he needs to do to so.

Now granted killing Carla Jean isn't "necessary", but as you put it, he views himself as some kind of resolute angel that has to operate within the parameters he's set for himself.

You've obviously been discussing or reading about this elsewhere, has anyone who's read the book offered any insight or clarification?
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:41 PM   #244
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I haven't really been paying too much attention to the novel or discussion around the novel, so I'm not sure about that either.


Another of my favorite exchanges in the film comes at the end of the scene between Chigurh and the gas station owner.

(from imdb: )

Gas Station Proprietor: Alright. Heads then.
[Chigurh removes his hand, revealing the coin is indeed heads]
Anton Chigurh: Well done.
[the gas station proprietor nervously takes the quarter with the small pile of change he's apparently won while Chigurh starts out]
Anton Chigurh: Don't put it in your pocket, sir. Don't put it in your pocket. It's your lucky quarter.
Gas Station Proprietor: Where do you want me to put it?
Anton Chigurh: Anywhere not in your pocket. Where it'll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.
[Chigurh leaves and the gas station proprietor stares at him as he walks out]

I love that. I think the implication that the coin has entered this man's life, and through the intervention or "good will" of Chigurh it has allowed the man to escape the fate of death at the hitman's hands.

I also love the lines in the film from Chigurh that revolve around following a path to arrive at a particular moment. I think he mentions it about him self and Moss during their phone conversation, I know he mentions how the coin that saved the attendent's life has been traveling for 20 years to arrive at that point, and again I believe when speaking to Carla Jean. It's the details like that that convince me Chigruh is either the the tool of fate, or views himself as God's right hand, or the hand of fate, or some more mystical postition along those lines.

In that sense he's a mediator, and the individual that essentially drives the fates of both Moss and the Sheriff.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:50 PM   #245
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Do you feel that he is an instrument of fate so much in Sheriff Bell's life that he is the final sign of doom which causes him to retire?

What I like is that you have a fairly generic crime plot, and then a very existential parable running concurrently, and they only tangentially cross. Bell never interacts with Moss or Chigurh (the former only through Carle Jean), and is only present to act as witness. He's ultimately powerless to affect the outcome. But his musings, while plotwise mostly reactive to what's already happened, seem to inform the events because of how prophetic everything he says seems to be.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:54 PM   #246
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I do believe Chigurh was the one criminal that signaled the end for Bell. In his last couple scenes, Bell muses on how he's not the brave man he always hoped he would become, the man his father was. I think in the scene where he goes back to the motel, when we see how terribly frightened he is before entering the room, that's sort of his final experiment to see if he could ever be the officer he wants to be. In the room he sees Chigurh's success and his own failings, and finally decides to quit for good.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:41 PM   #247
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I was a little confused by that scene. Which Motel was that, the motel where Moss was killed, or the one where Moss and Chigurh were both staying at? Because the removal of the vent with the screws on the floor, wasn't that where Moss hooked the case from the air vent into his new room?

Also, was Chigurh in the room next door? Did he crawl from one room to another? Why was Chigurh even there?
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:00 PM   #248
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I was under the impression that the final motel we see was the one where Moss was killed, and that he had simply hid the money in the vent again, as he did the first time in the previous motel. That would explain why it wasn't found by police after Moss' death and why the Mexicans were seemingly driven away more by Moss and the commotion without the money, since it was hidden.

It would also explain why Chigurh was there at the same time as Bell, since he would have waited until night when everyone left the scene to go look for the money. I've heard the theory that he was waiting in the next room, but I personally believe that he was waiting in the dark corner of the same room that Bell enters, and that he simply snuck out with the money when Bell was searching the bathroom.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:05 PM   #249
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If Chigurh was smart enough to know it was in the vent, and realized how Moss had pulled it around the corner into the other room at the other hotel, wouldn't he have done the same thing; i.e. check into the room next door and take it through the vent instead of risking being discovered at the scene of the crime in Moss' room?

I'm pretty sure there was a shot when TLJ came into the room that showed there was no way Chigurh could have been behind that front door.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:13 PM   #250
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I know what shot you're thinking of, but I think it's there just to keep toying with our perceptions. The shot before Bell decides to enter the room makes it look like Chigurh is in there, and then we see the door slam open with nobody in the corner. It's obviously trying to confuse us. On top of that, why would he be pressing himself against the side of his door in the next room with his shotgun at the ready if someone was obviously at the neighboring room?

Also, there's plenty of evidence showing Chigurh was in fact in the room Moss stayed in. The first was the blown-out lock in the door handle which Bell noticed before he enters the room. And secondly it shows the open vent with the Dime lying on the ground, which I believe was shown to be in the same room.

But I really need to see the film again to know one way or another for sure. There's evidence supporting either case obviously, and it's meant to be ambiguous anyway I think. As for Chigurh checking into the other room, I don't think that makes a lot of sense either this time. One, because I doubt the motel would be checking any new costumers in that night, let alone in the room next to a murder scene. And two, because Chigurh already knew Moss' thinking, so he could get in and out of there fairly rapidly, so the risk was probably negligible, although Bell DID show up at the same time, so who knows.

Either way, I realize it doesn't make a lick of difference one way or another.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:29 PM   #251
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Right, ultimately it doesn't make a difference. The point is that Bell is too late again, and also that the Coens (through McCarthy) subvert genre convention by not giving us the payoff confrontation we're expecting by them both being there at the same time.

The question is, why doesn't Chigurh kill Bell instead of slipping by him? It seems his actions through the rest of the film would prevent him from taking the chance.

On an esoteric level, one can argue that just as Chigurh is portrayed (and referred to) as a ghost of sorts, so is Bell, as he appears to be fading into the shadows of the world he's living in and doesn't feel part of anymore. It could be said that these two don't "see" each other or interact because they are two phantoms, one with the power to assist or enforce fate, and the other one powerless to do anything but observe and ruminate on it.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:35 PM   #252
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I'm trying to remember if Bell left the door open when he came in the room. If he did, it was probably less risky just to walk out with the money instead of going back into the bathroom and killing Bell. Plus, Chigurh doesn't just kill people blindly. One way or another all his victims are meant to die, even if it's just his psychosis conjuring those fates. So maybe Bell was left alive for the sheer purpose of observing and ruminating?

Then there's also the very distinct possibility of the scene with Chigurh standing behind the door occuring at a completely different time or place from Bell's visit to the motel, or maybe even it's just a vision Bell's fear of what's waiting for him.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:40 PM   #253
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lancemc
Then there's also the very distinct possibility of the scene with Chigurh standing behind the door occuring at a completely different time or place from Bell's visit to the motel, or maybe even it's just a vision Bell's fear of what's waiting for him.

That's very true, and I feel like it's really going to take another viewing to get a clearer understanding, as much is it can be distinctly illustrated.

This conversation is exactly what I was looking for, and I think I'm admiring the film a lot more as a result of it.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:42 PM   #254
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Just talking to you about this is making me seriously consider going to see the 7:15 showing of it tonight. which would kick ass, as much as it would put a lot more pressure on me finishing this presentation I need to put together tonight.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:50 PM   #255
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Shouldn't you see Fred Claus once before going to No Country again?
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