My rating: 7
IMDB rating: 7.6
“If I had wings like Noah’s dove
I’d fly up the river to the one I love
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well”
In my naivety I somehow thought that modern folk songs began and ended with the sudden overwhelming interest in indie-type of folk artists like Mumford & Sons. But after watching the movie The Broken Circle Breakdown, that features the older, more traditional type of folk song (bluegrass), and now this movie just shows the extent of the folk-genre. I have to say that I am both surprised and impressed by the range of this genre.
But that is not what I liked most about this film; this film has a very intriguing, thought-evoking cyclical nature that keeps you interested throughout the film. Not only is this achieved by a constant guessing, but also by a certain form of perpetual ordering and re-ordering by the viewer. What I am trying to say is that this cyclical nature of the film, that involves a certain amount of confusion, adds to the attractiveness of the film by having the viewer change his opinion constantly.
The thing that I changed my mind about most frequently, was the nature of Llewyn… You constantly go from liking him as the protagonist, to shifting him into a role where he, as his own antagonist, is often hated. Ambivalence and the constant swapping of loyalties are also applicable to the Jean-situation; although one initially feels empathy towards her, that is quickly changed after her own infidelities are explored more thoroughly.
Therefore, I would say that one of the major themes in this film would certainly be the warning that the film gives with regard to early judgements. Watching the opening scenes, one would sympathise more with Llewyn, but as the movie progresses we realise that Llewyn is actually the architect of his own displeasure and your sympathies then rather seem to go to one of his ‘victims’.
Still, the story does undergo a cyclical transformation that redefines the ending, saving the film from the mainstream, the story rather keeps one guessing and contemplating the cyclical value of one’s own seemingly easy-made choices.
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