This is part two of my movie review on “O Brother Where Art Thou,” part one can be found here, please give it a read before moving on.
Great Things About “O Brother Where Art Thou”
For one, the cinematography in the film really shines through, and it certainly deserves the nominations and awards that it got. The best example of this is perhaps the introduction of Sheriff Cooley. At the beginning of the movie, we get introduced to him through a stone cold gaze from him as he watches the burning barn seemingly unfazed with the fact that the convicts are still inside.
After that is the closeup scene of his bloodhound sniffing the empty can of Dapper Dan, then panning towards his hands with the hairnet used by one of the trios.
These two scenes alone already give us a good idea of what the sheriff’s character is like, we feel the coldness he exudes and we are shown subtly how relentless he is. Then when we finally get to see him, the background, music and lighting all play a great part in confirming what kind of person he is.
Another good scene to note is the choreography is the Klan meeting. The lighting, music, and movements all come together to make the scene give us the menacing vibe while at the same time successfully show just how absurd the whole thing is.
This and many more like it are constantly present in the film; there are just no bad shots in this. Another great thing about this film is their use of music. All of the songs used are either folksongs or bluegrass and the song choices are perfect for each scene.
Perhaps the best example of this is the use of “You Are My Sunshine.” At the beginning of the film, the song was presented in a solemn manner, almost as though sang to comfort the trio as they begin their journey and don’t know what can happen. Then, near the end of the film, the song was sung again. This time, in a joyous manner as a form of celebration almost like it is saying that everything is alright now.
Check out this awesome cover by Jasmine Thompson.
Another example is the baptism scene where they played the song “Down In The River To Pray.” The way it was performed gave the solemnness and sacredness that the scene was trying to convey.
Another example is the river scene with the sirens singing the song “Go To Sleep You Little Baby.” The performers really gave us, and the trio, a hypnotic rendition.
The films story, pacing, imagery, and conversations were all great as well. One good scene that comes to mind was when they picked up Tommy Johnson at the crossroads and they started talking about how he sold his soul to the devil, but it is not as straight forward as it seems. When he proceeded to describe who the devil was it gave me pause.
The film has a lot of great things going on and that can’t be denied, however, I do have some thoughts on some aspect of the movie.
Hey readers, once again thanks for reading this far. We’ve seen the great things about this movie, now it’s time to see some not so great ones. The final part of this review will be out tomorrow, as usual, please look out for it and thanks again for reading.