Analysis Of Movie: No Country For Old Men (2007)

No Country for Old Men has elements of a thriller and is also a reflection on destiny and chance, as well as on aging and dying. The movie was adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s novel. This movie is a story of wrongs done, and very little can be done to restore order. The movie starts with a compassionate older man. Llewellyn (Josh Brolin), a Vietnam vet, finds two million dollars in the back seat of his vehicle after a failed Texas drug deal. Moss’s attempt to escape with the cash sets off a chain of events in this stripped-down film by Joel and Ethan Coen. Anton Chighurh’s enigmatic killing spree targets Moss, who is determined to die by the flipping of a penny. In this drama series, Tommy Lee Jones’ disenchanted Sheriff Bell struggles to control the violence that is rapidly increasing. Change and fate are inevitable. One of the main themes in No Country For Old Men is fate. This paper examines several scenes/instances that justify fate in the movie.

Anton Chighurh is the main antagonist of the film. He serves as a force for death and destiny. Carla Jean can be seen pleading with Chigurgh to save his life, as he threatens his life would end when he entered it. Anton Chigurh, a psychopath, is hired by a shadowy group to find and recover a bag containing two million dollars of cash. This money is missing because a drug deal failed. Chigurh’s hairstyle is grotesque and he wants to kill people with an air pressure bolt gun. His passion goes beyond that of an assassin hired to kill. Chigurh is a murderer obsessed with killing and has a keen understanding of victimhood and fear. Chigurh’s diabolical smile, which appears as he speaks, is a sign of diabolical gaiety. The character’s funny haircut reveals an unfunny persona, similar to the Beatle from Hell. The pneumatic device, his traditional firearm, is used to mercilessly blow holes in your head.

Chigurh considers himself the forerunner of death. He allows a random coin toss encounter to determine Carla Jean’s fate and that of the attendant. So he lets fate decide the fate of Carla Jean and the attendant. Chigurh appears to swallow his words as they leave his mouth. This character makes Chigurh seem less human than he really is. Chigurh walks into a rundown station in the middle wilderness. The dialogue that follows reveals Chigurh is talking to the old man about his fate. Chigurh’s decision does not change and he doesn’t explain why. He asks the old man, who is nervous to flip a quarter. Carla’s husband Moss died of cancer and her mother followed. Moss ends by telling us that we are punished for our sins. Even if the character repents, he will still be punished. Carla is waiting for Chigurh to kill her when she returns to home after these incidents. Carla refuses to play Chigurh’s game and denounces his offer. Carla tells Chigurh that the coin doesn’t matter. Chigurh’s reaction to this comment is to be shocked and angry. He becomes an egomaniacal delusional. Chigurh will not let Carla survive because his coin decides the fates of people.

Sherriff bell retires when he is unable to locate Chigurh. Chigurh could have also killed Bell in his psychotic killing spree. Bell is able to escape because fate has made their paths not cross. Bell hesitates to tell his wife about his dreams because he fears that she might not find them interesting. Bell states that he now is twenty years older in comparison to his dream father. It appears that time has been reversed. Bell’s old father is actually Bell. Bell’s father gives him money in his first dream. The movie’s main conflict has been Moss and Chigurh chasing Moss to get a two-million dollar case. All the characters in pursuit of money die or are severely injured leaving them with a morally empty life, except Bell who survives to be able to retire. This dream shows us that money is not everything and people who aren’t greedy end up in a bad situation. Money also represents luck in this dream. Bell’s inability to see clearly shows through Bell’s loss of money. Second, Bell dreams of riding through the mountains on horseback. Bell mentions that in his dream, his father carried fire in a large horn. It is possible that the subconscious will tell you something you desire, but it may not be able to come true.


  • oscarcunningham

    Oscar Cunningham is a 41-year-old educational blogger and professor. He has been writing about education for over 10 years, and is known for his expertise on online learning and digital media. Cunningham is also a frequent speaker on these topics, and has given talks at a range of universities around the world. In his spare time, he also enjoys playing the violin and running.

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