The Big Lebowski Film Review: We all know that laughter is the best medicine. But we should not be naive and cruel to tame comedy and consider it as just a tool to make us giggle. In fact, comedy has an inherent power to even make a deep lasting impact on global audiences. In a light hearted way, it can touch issues that are considered taboo on account of social and political correctness and initiate discussion. Evidently, there cannot be a better example to understand this effective power of comedy than the American movie, ‘The Big Lebowski’.
In 1998, Hollywood was graced by an outlier crime comedy film called ‘The Big Lebowski’. It was an outlier because unlike most of the other movies, it showed its protagonist ‘The Dude’ played by Jeff Bridges as a “terminally relaxed” guy. He is just an ordinary man but is eccentrically weird, laid back and pacifist. He roams around carefree dressed in his slacked shorts, T-shirt and bathrobes.
The Dude doesn’t care about the things happening in the world, to other people or in his vicinity, a classic example of nihilism. The Big Lebowski film was written, produced, and directed by the Coen brothers – Joel and Ethan. Prominent actors like Sam Elliott, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi appeared as the supporting star cast.
The Big Lebowski film is said to be inspired from the literary work of American-British novelist Raymond Chandler.
Notably, once the co-director Joel remarked that all they wanted was to do a Chandler kind of story. His stories have their own style on how it moves episodically, and deals with the characters who try to unravel a mystery. Additionally, these stories have a hopelessly complex plot that are ultimately unimportant.
The Big Lebowski – The Cult
Initially, the movie received mixed response and reviews. But at a later stage, the global audiences understood the real message behind the movie. Over time, it became a cult in itself. You may be shocked to know that ‘Dudeism’ has become a religion in itself.
Furthermore, in 2014, ‘The Big Lebowski’ was preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. While doing so, they stated that the movie is “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
This American movie has a fresh perspective with every character having their own style, charisma and peculiar traits. Most of the character follows US policy that, aggression is the solution to every problem. Even the wheel-chair bound ‘The Big Lebowski’ is verbally super aggressive.
A tight slap on ‘ISMs’
But the main take away from The Big Lebowski film is that it beautifully blends its bold message with the light hearted comedy. It has thoroughly exposed all the misconceptions, ideologies and ISMs that are presented as reformist ideas.
Evidently, the kidnappers are nihilist and have no plan whatsoever to pull their act through. Apart from them, the movie also mocks and ridicules other nihilists.
The movie doesn’t pull its punches in bashing feminists. The Dude doesn’t give a damn to the feminazi ranting of Maude Lebowski. Additionally, the movie shames the paedophiles by highlighting their despicable traits. But the movie makers were not content with that either. They went further and named the character of the child molester as Jesus which created a lot of troubles for the maker at a later stage.
The Big Lebowski doesn’t even spare religious fundamentalism. Apart from the Jesus reference, the film also mocks the religious rituals conducted after death. Walter carelessly dumps Donny’s ashes in the Pacific Ocean in such a manner that the wind pushes all of it on to their faces.
‘The Big Lebowski’ became a cult hit because it spared none. It was a scathing critique on social practices, the ISMs and the US policy of aggression and imposition of war on others.
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