The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Reviews
There are some terrific moments - Stephen Root, covered in homemade armour, excitedly screaming "Pan shot!" as he bears down on James Franco being a stand out for me.
But, perhaps Buster Scruggs himself taps into something when he complains that one of his nicknames is "The Misanthrope". One would guess this was a knowing, self-referential joke as you would never label the Coen brothers hugely optimistic fans of their fellow humans. But here it often felt as though the brother's natural leaning into the blackness outweighed the comedy to too great a degree - the directors' feet very much slipping over that line with the horribly bleak "Meal Ticket".
A film maker adopting a bleak world view is, of course, not a problem. But the film's anthology format didn't quite allow the stories time to carve out the depth needed to explore the darker themes satisfyingly, As a result, the uncharacteristically broad strokes the film's darker moments were painted with butted up a little jarringly against the comedy, Overall, and despite Buster Scrugg's protestations, the resulting film felt perhaps too overtly misanthropic to be as entertaining as one would normally expect of a Coen brother's production.
To be fair, the Coen Brothers have set themselves up to be judged by their own extraordinary standards. This would probably be a four star film if made by someone else but, when held against their own staggering body of work, one can't but find it a little lacking.
Nevertheless, overall it is an great movie to watch. The stories are amusing, downright funny, filled with irony and utterly unpredictable, you are never sure of what is going to happen next.
One of Netflix's best movies released this year, a "Must Watch".
The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
Coen Brothers' western ride on the tell tale narration is much more layered than Leone's grimy cowboy attitude. With a storytelling like such, that is a compilation of various tales, often tends to lose the grip and fails to make you root for the track despite of leaping from one character to another. But this shear passion of Coen Brothers cuts all these rumored hoax of cinema and soars above all with an adaptive and layered script. As always, the storytelling is often brimmed with humoristic tone which is aptly balanced and never shucks away the intensity of the gunpowder.
The first act pretty much works like your textbook structure, that shows you the brief description of what is about to come; not to mention it is the funniest bit of all. Franco takes in the second chapter, that gives you a more Eastwood-y feeling like wooden boards creaking, wind howling and gunshots puffing smoke, it characterizes the western world, the best. Neeson's act is the one that haunts you the most, for both the reasons; its beauty and sadism.
It has the range to soothe you and give you the goosebumps, that harrowing silent pitch on screen cannot be toned down by even the beautiful live location it wanders through. Gait's sort-of-a-diary-version has the thirst for seeking the truth out, hardwork and patience, combining all this, it is certainly the most glorifying segment of all. Kazan's personal venture is complex to the core where the uncertainty of the trajectory easily helps Coen Brothers to fiddle with your emotions. And the last section of the segment is so bizarrely ingenious that you are left with your head spinning on the edge of the seat.
The final act on the cart is more scary than it is funny, you can practically see each step of the structure leaning towards a darker path, no matter how ironical the stories keep getting, and on that note where Coen Brothers are messing with you subconsciously, this is a complete triumph on the western drama. Now, having these many plots and ergo these many characters, each actor gets a stand out moment to impress the viewers with their expressive performance. But the ones that do among this caliber of cast, are Kazan, Gaits, Gleeson and Neeson.
Unlike such stories usually does, there is no mutual theme to it, it may feel coequal, but each tale has a rare soul that emits a newer version, a fresher version of itself. The execution is undoubtedly on the mark, and armed with such meticulous script, its grittiness is what's bubbled up by the Coen Brothers. Aforementioned, there are few fluctuations on the nature of the layered segments, it still bodes well to the flow of the movie and never comes across any bumps. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs is, yes, your typical Coen Brothers adventure that is crafted out with a sensational cast, but personally I'd choose True Grit version vocab of theirs.
Aesthetically, the visuals are really captivating and very much tell a story of their own, in certain parts of the film, there are some visuals that are articulate enough to carry an entire scene with no need for a dialogue of any kind, this, of course, is a trademarked Coen's brothers cinematography that feels like a work of art.
One of the great factors that make this film so great is the dialogue, the writing to be more precise, it is very eloquent, classy and charmful, In all six chapters, different as they are we find this rather faint connection that ties them, some are better than others I must say, but to have such a wide spectrum of emotions and feelings is amazing, the smooth shift and transition of those emotions is also worth noting.
All of that is executed and showcased by an incredibly talented cast, the acting was sublime on all facets.
The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs is incredibly enjoyable, to say the least, after some minor hiccups in their latest works, the Coens bounce back with a true gem that' worth praising, I absolutely loved every second of it.
Although some people might not get it, I suggest you look up the meaning of all short stories, watch it again and you'll be delighted. It might seem like a fun movie with action and humor, but don't look at it like that. You'll be disappointed. Each story highlights the harshness of the wild west and how it correlates with today life. It's a really good movie and the Coen brothers have made a good, beautiful looking movie.