Fargo (1996)

(On TV, November 1998) My problems with this film began just before the last commercial break, when the announcer smugly declared “Stay tuned, for the conclusion of Fargo”. That’s when I knew I was going to be definitely disappointed. To put it simply: Fargo is a shaggy-dog story without a conclusion. Now, wrapping up a movie has never been one of the Coen brother’s strong points, the remainder of their movies usually making up for it (eg: The Hudsucker Proxy, The Big Lebowski). Not so here, where everything seems poised toward a conclusion that only halfway comes. No payoff for the buried money. No payoff for the ex-boyfriend. No payoff for the kid. A staggering deux-ex-machina precipitates the conclusion. Some say that the charm of Fargo comes from these real-life details. I go to movies to see a story; so I disagree. Fargo is still worthwhile, but doesn’t deserve its reputation. Yah.

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