Rarely does a movie come along that is not only laugh out loud funny, but also exceedingly intelligent. What the Cohen brothers have created in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” is something like a cross between the “Three Stooges” and Homer’s “Odyssey” played against the backdrop of the Great Depression.
Ulysses Everett McGill (George Clooney) and two other convicts, Pete (John Turturro) and Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) escape from prison to retrieve a 1.2 million dollar treasure that Everett claims to have stolen and buried. However, they have only four days to recover it, before its burial place is flooded as part of a new hydroelectric project. Coincidentally, this is also the day when Everett’s wife, Penny (Holly Hunter) is planning to marry another man.
The parallels in the movie, to Homer’s “Odyssey” are unmistakable for a well-rounded intellect such as myself. From a one-eyed giant (played by John Goodman) to three beautiful women who seduce the travelers, the Cohen brothers have made the classic tale their own by adding their characteristic wry humor.
The melodic aspect of this movie had been a much discussed topic. Some have even categorized it as a musical. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but music does play a major role in the film. Almost every scene is set to the tune of an old-timey bluegrass song, I doubt you’ll be able to keep your foot from tapping along to the Soggy Bottom Boys version of “Man of Constant Sorrow”.
The makers of the film have produced a brilliant ensemble cast. I can’t imagine any of the characters being played by anybody else. Who better than George Clooney to play the hilarious know-it-all, Everett, or John Goodman as the temperamental one eyed Bible salesman?
Everything about this movie is absolutely spot on, from the washed out color tones, to the signature humor that clearly identifies this movie as a Cohen brothers creation. It has an old-fashioned and welcoming feel, and isn’t quite like any other movie I’ve ever seen.