O Brother Where Art Thou – Movie Review (English)

Language : English.
Release : 2000.
Genre : Comedy, Drama.
Starring : George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Charles Durning, Michael Badalucco, John Goodman, Holly Hunter.
Directed By : Joel and Ethan Coen.
Written By : Joel and Ethan Coen.
Music By : T-Bone Burnett.

As unusual as the title sounds, O Brother Where Art Thou is an equally unusual movie, and considering the fact that its churned out of the Coen brothers’ stable, it shouldn’t be surprising at all. Honestly speaking, I’m not sure what genre the movie falls into, is it a musical, albeit without dance numbers or a comedy, or a loosely adapted mythology but, whatever genre the makers decided to fit into, it has a long lasting linger on the audiences’ mind, with the brilliant performances of the actors, the euphony of T-Bone Burnett’s music and the exceptional production and directional work of the Coen brothers complimented with Roger Deakins Cinematography.


Loosely based on Homer’s Illiad, the movie tells us the story of the motormouthed Everett McGill Ulysses (George
Clooney) jailed for practicing law without a licence, and fellow cons Pete Hogwallop (John Turturro) and Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson), who were lured into the escaping with Ulysses glorifying stories about a $1.2 million treasure and follows their odyssey as they embark on a journey through post Depression-era America, meeting people inspired by both historical and mythological characters. Like Baby Face Nelson, who they also tag along to loot a bank, and the one eyed Bible salesman, who turns out to be a fraud, but eventually meet him again as a KKK member! or “The Three Sirens” who love them. In the midst of all these and the cops hunting them down, they form a band “The Soggy Bottom Boys” and record a song “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow“, which turns out to be a super hit! In the end they find the treasure, just like the old man predicted.


The title inspired from the 1941 Preston Sturges film, in which a comedy director (Joel McCrea) journeys through
Depression-era America to research a serious movie he wants to call O Brother, Where Art Thou? Sullivan never makes that movie; he decides it’s better to make people laugh. The film on the other hand, as mentioned earlier, is a modern day Americanized adaptation of Homer’s Illiad. Similar to the other Coen’s movies, O Brother Where Art Thou, has a heavy Jewish touch to it, along with the most unusual aspects of film-making incorporated into it. Who else could have made an entire movie in “Sepia-tinted” and yet make it commercially successful at the same time astonishing the critics!


The Coens’ deserve complete credit to this movie. Each and every aspect has the brothers name etched into it, and every accolade the movie receives has to be to directed to the brothers. This is definitely a movie, which could go down the lane as a classic, the most unusual classic that could ever be produced, yet the most entertaining classic anyone could ever expect. All in all, O Brother Where Art Thou, is a movie that should never be missed.

Audience POV:
1. Amazing soundtrack.
2. The best Coen’s movie.

Critics POV:
1. Brilliant direction.
2. Very well planned and executed production design.


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