No Country for Old Men, a film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed book of the same name, was released in 2007 by the writing and directing team of Joel and Ethan Coen. It won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2008, and was soon hailed as one of their best works in an already illustrious career.
The film has recently been hailed by retrospective audiences as one of the best to come out of 2000. It makes sense why people still flock to it if they’re truly die-hard Coen fans or film newbies. No Country for Old Men is, in many ways, a conventional crime thriller.
It centers on a man who stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and tries to escape while being chased by a hitman and a sheriff carrying a suitcase full of money. But as the film continues, more and more questions arise, leading to an ending that audiences are still debating today. No Country for Old Men concludes this way.
The vast, open spaces of these places inspire moral and ethical impulses in males who live in sweltering deserts. Ethan and Joel Coen’s film No Country for Old Men examines the hazards of living in an unregulated world where terror and brutality are the standards.
Additionally, it is about the passage of time and the men left behind in the wake of all of its terrible transformations, such as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Bell arrives from a long line of law enforcement specialists. The events that occur during the film cause Bell to start to question his role in this new universe.
A setting that produces morally problematic characters like Javier Bardem’s assassin Anton Chigurh. Men like Chigurh have moral codes that go beyond those of a Mexican drug cartel and Sheriff Bell. Bell, a former sheriff who magically reappears at the end of the film, gives predictions concerning the development of law enforcement as well as the larger world.
Following their deadly cat-and-mouse game, Bell spends the majority of the movie racing after Josh Brolin’s Llewelyn Moss and Chigurh, but he is never able to catch up to them. After learning of an unsuccessful criminal gang deal in Mexico, Moss finds a substantial sum of money.
Moss gives in to his greed and takes it as opposed to reporting it to the authorities. Chigurh chases Moss to recover the money, which begins the pursuit. Bell, who is notorious for showing up late, ultimately becomes what he most feared: unnecessary. Moss passes away, Chigurh makes his getaway, and Moss’s wife’s whereabouts remain unknown.
When Bell’s age and the constantly shifting circumstances of the world catch up to him, this becomes the theme of the movie’s concluding monologue. Recall Bell telling his young deputy in his first remarks that they wouldn’t even need to carry weapons if his father was the sheriff. That’s not the situation anymore. Bell tells his wife about two of his dreams from the previous night while he sits at home.
Through these two dreams, Bell, who has already retired, considers his worries about the future. He recalls misplacing money his father had given him in one of his visions. On the other, he was accompanying his father while climbing a freezing mountain trail. In the pitch black, his father had gone ahead to start a fire and wait for Bell.
Why does the movie finish with dreams?
Dreams usually contain analogies and feelings that are wrapped around memories. The fact that Bell had lost the money his father had left him only served to increase his sense of loss. He feels as though he fell short of his father’s expectations of him or the family’s legacy in law enforcement. Because he believed he could have done more, Bell decided to bear the weight of the unstable and violent world around him.
He feels as though his entire heritage died together with him at that very moment. For him, the second dream was more of an atonement. The completion of this legacy, which he values, and a shared understanding with his father. Bell’s return home is symbolized by waiting for him in the pitch black while keeping that one light on. The prodigal son’s triumphant return after years of striving to leave the world a better place than he found it.
No Country for Old Men has a lot of grey areas, but its conclusion is one area where it stays true to its name. It deals with the advancement of time and cultural shifts. The passage of time and generational change are issues it addresses. This has to do with the fact that the men who live there are becoming more violent.
It’s no accident that these three men were the main characters of the film’s plot, with each of them standing in for the nation’s past, present, and future. These nations must maintain their propensities for self-destruction and selfishness because machismo has taken control of them.
No Country for Old Men is a progression of men’s innate predisposition for self-gratification and selfish aggression, whether it be Moss’ willingness to sacrifice his wife’s life for money or Chigurh’s cold and heartless demeanor.
In the last minutes of the movie, Jones’ Sheriff Bell assumes the shape of the voice of the past. As the camera pans in for a close-up of his face, his expression begins to wane. Bell moves the audience to tears, almost to the brink of discovery. In No Country for Old Guys, this is the future that awaits the men. Males favor Chigurh. That portrays a twisted morality that conceals the evil essence of humanity.
Men like Moss are willing to put their lives in danger to get wealth and fortune because they are so easily seduced by its promise. Men like Bell are the next group. Men learn that things have gone worse after believing they have lived ethically decent lives. The actual importance of the final scene of No Country for Old Men lies in this when someone is hit by cold water in the middle of winter.
Where the chill is so sharp that it suspends everyone in time, that monologue accomplishes that. Their horror at the verdict completely stops the crowd in its tracks. The final cut appears considerably more abrupt as a result. There is no answer. What has happened during the last two hours is not consoling. There is no assurance that the sun will rise again.
It’s just the shattered words of a man who has seen so much bloodshed in the days leading up to his retirement that not even he can provide comfort. What else is left to say other than a broken man’s dreams? Following these characters has the same effect as beginning again with the understanding that nothing will change. Nothing but bad things seem to happen.