The Big Lebowski (1998)


In 1998, after a well-trodden path and a well-known name in the world of drama and black comedy, the famous couple of directors, the Cohen brothers, decided to record a project that would represent something new in their work – a story about a hippie who accidentally enters the world of crime. Their new project did not meet with a good response in cinemas around the world, but after a few years it gained cult status among fans of independent films, solely because of the specific humor and the whole atmosphere that the film possesses.

The main character of the film is Jeff Lebowski, better known by the nickname The Dude. He is a hippie who lives in Los Angeles and his everyday life comes down to smoking marijuana and bowling with his best friends, Voltaire and Donnie. Voltaire is a radical military veteran of an explosive nature, while Donnie is a former surfer whose opinion is most often irrelevant. Their daily life is interrupted by the arrival of two debt collectors who ask Jeff to return the money borrowed by his wife. After it is explained that he does not have a wife, Jeff goes to the man with whom he was replaced in order to seek compensation for the fear he suffered and a new carpet. There he is drawn into action, he must help repay the ransom for the wife of that rich man and thus fall into a series of extremely unexpected and hilarious events.

The Cohen brothers made a breakthrough in the Hollywood market relatively quickly, won critical acclaim and their fan base gradually increased, but the curiosity is that their projects did not receive more money for production, but remained low-budget, which is certainly a plus. Their films are not characterized by special effects, chases and waste of money during filming, but by subtle art that is best reflected in top-notch directing and original scripts full of extremely interesting and different characters.

This film also shows the most important characteristic of the Cohen brothers – creativity. In addition to great characters, the script consists of specific humor that did not immediately meet with approval, while today it has become synonymous with great comedy intended for somewhat more demanding viewers. It is full of hilarious dialogues with replicas that people around the world use in everyday life. In addition to masterful directing, the film features an excellent selection of locations for filming and a great soundtrack. I especially single out the scenes in which Jeff, while smoking marijuana, goes to a new, surreal world that shows his thoughts and hallucinations. In addition to the main story, the script also contains a number of subplots, which can tire lazy viewers, while true movie lovers will be entertained and intrigued.

The cast is perfect and they did the job so well that maybe those are the roles of their careers. Jeff Bridges has brilliantly portrayed the role of a phlegmatic hippie with his specific vision of life and the world in general, while the great and always well-liked actors John Goodman and Steve Buscemi are simply unsurpassed in their roles. You really get the impression that such a trio really exists in Los Angeles, and it is a pity that we don’t know them in real life. In addition to them, it is worth mentioning John Turturro in the brilliantly performed role of the eccentric bowler Jesus Quintan, as well as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore.

This film is hilarious, original, specific and the cream of world cinema itself. A film story that will entertain everyone and that will show everyone how film geniuses the Cohen brothers are.