When Waring Hudsucker, head of hugely successful Hudsucker Industries, commits suicide, his board of directors, led by Sidney Mussberger, comes up with a brilliant plan to make a lot of money: appoint a moron to run the company. When the stock falls low enough, Sidney and friends can buy it up for pennies on the dollar, take over the company, and restore its fortunes. They choose idealistic Norville Barnes, who just started in the mail room. Norville is whacky enough to drive any company to ruin, but soon, tough reporter Amy Archer smells a rat and begins an undercover investigation of Hudsucker Industries.Written by
This is one good looking movie and has many Coen recognisable signature quirks to make it worthy of a comparison to their earlier and later works. I will come back on those quirks later.
I love the way the Coens always combine high-brow subtlety with low-brow slapstick which makes it so accessible. This movie is not heavy on subtlety but there are some genius moments in it to make it watchable again and again. Newman for one is great in this movie and having the best of times. He makes minimal acting an artform. Really, he could act anyone of that screen with his eyes closed. Jennifer Jason Leigh is a contrast with her hand waving,her Katherine Hepburn- affected-ballsy way of speaking and general overacting but I guess she sets the scene quite brilliantly to complement the decor and general 30's feel of the movie. You see, apparently the Coens have a penchant for the 30's movies style(and so they should.. Many a great movie was made in that decade) but the story in which an imbecile's dingus, against all odds became a total Fad and all the rage, doesn't quite fit that decade. I can't think of any Dingus which became all the rage in the thirties (life was too hard for thingamabobs then, I suppose) and the earliest example, the hoolahoop, was definately a brainchild of the 50's (Life was good and spendable income to buy doodahs was more readily available ). I don't mind that at all but I was confused to find out that it was set in the 50's because of all the visual and audible references to the 30's. If Mussburgers office wasn't an art-deco Love-fest (that clock!)I don't know what is.
I guess this review is definitely style over content but you know what? That just doesn't matter because plot is secondary to the visuals, and dialogue in this movie. And that is just alright by me. It is the reason why these movies are so good for repeat viewings. Once you know a plot, you are not likely to watch it again just for the plot's sake. It is the sights, the sounds the dialogue that makes you want to watch a movie again and again. Oh you don't believe me? Name your favourite movie (not the one you tell your friends is your favourite but the one you watch again and again). What makes you want to watch it repeatedly? Is it because you want to know what happens for the 100th time? Ofcourse not! You want to watch it for the 100th time because of the dialogue, the fun, the special effects the object of your desire etc. etc...
Now I am not saying that plot is not important but I am saying that what makes Coen Brother's movies so good is that they think about their viewer/audience who wants to watch their movies until they can repeat every line in the movie(and becoming sad anoraks in the process). I actually know people who watched the Big Lebowski half way and walked out of the cinema only to find them Lebowski addicts after one more viewing. I am not naming names but you know who you are...
I liked this movie the first time round... I know I will love it later...
Now for the Coen parallels between this movie and the Big Lebowski:
Jennifer's way of speaking was similar to Julianne's Maud. They were both "feisty" Brunettes who fall for the main character(I wouldn't call 'em heroes)
The voice over to remind us that it is a fairytale at the beginning and end by guardian-angel-types. (Sam Elliot in Big and Bill Cobbs in the Hudsucker) Bizarre Dance Dream Sequences that have nothing to do with the plot but are hugely enjoyable. Blond Bombshell (Anna-Nicole Smith in Hudsucker and Tara Reid in the Big Lebowski)Who want to seduce the hero. Steve Buscemi. Memorable Lines...
So all in all I guess I recommend it!
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