BY Fletcher Gelber
I have always considered myself as a Dude; I go bowling, eat Cheetos, and have seen every episode of [i]Breaking Bad[/i]-twice. But that title was seriously questioned in the office when it was discovered that I have not seen the holy grail of dude movies, the Dude Bible, The Death Star of Dudeness: The Big Lebowski. With my Dude identity on the line, I finally sat down to watch the film; and my life will never be the same.
The Big Lebowski is a film about Mr. Lebowski, better known as “The Dude,” or “his Dudeness,” or “Duder,” or “El Duderino,” who gets his rug stolen by two thugs who mistake him for a multimillionaire, who is also named Lebowski. This incident sets off a series of events that leads The Dude to try to and save a kidnapping victim, fight nihilists, and of course, bowl. The plot of the film seems like it could be a B stoner film, and it very well could have been, if it was not for superb acting, brilliant directing and a wonderful soundtrack.
The witty (ironic) dialogue in The Big Lebowski kept me interested throughout the entire 117 minutes. Best friends The Dude (Jeff Bridges) and Walter (John Goodman) are always on a different page making their banter becomes mesmerizing. John Goodman steals the spotlight in almost every scene he is in, which is saying a lot considering he shares the scenes with acting giants such as Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, and John Turturro. John Goodman has lines such as “this is not ‘nam, this is bowling, there are rules” that make it impossible not to love his character.
The directing of the film is pure creative brilliance. Perfect camera angles, including a shot from the perspective of a bowling ball racing down the lanes to the pins, are what make this film so memorable. Directors Ethan and Joel Coen sprinkle creative dream sequences throughout the film that, while fun to watch, also showcases their genius approach to film. Everything in the dream sequence is something that was shown or mentioned in the film earlier. The black and white checkered tile floor in the dream is the same black and white checkered tile in Mr. Lebowski’s house, and the trident Maud (Julianne Moore) holds in the dream sequence is very similar to a trident statue in The Dudes apartment. Neat directing details like this are what make the film so great.
Finally, what ties the film together and makes is so unforgettable is the catchy soundtrack. Greats like Bob Dylan’s “The Man in Me” and Kenny Rogers’ “Just Dropped In” go perfectly and give the audience the relaxed attitude that mirrors The Dude, and immerses the audience in the film.
After watching this film I undoubtedly have a new favorite film, and also a new understanding to the term “Dude.” This film is perfect from beginning to end and will make for a truly unforgettable experience. If you’re into top-notch acting, brilliant directing, and an entertaining soundtrack, then I highly recommend that you sit back with a tall white Russian and enjoy The Big Lebowski. Now excuse me, I gotta go bowl.
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