The Big Lebowski Essay

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In The Big Lebowski, there are a flood of foul language usage with ‘Fuck it! With the Dude accusing Walter for considering everything a travesty, asking ‘What the fuck does anything have to do with Vietnam?

’ madly and Walter apologizing for the first time throughout the whole movie indicates the slightly changed relationship due to the loss of a dearest common friend.

However, given how blatant most of the message is, I’m slightly ashamed that I didn’t notice it (I was young and much less aware of global politics).

Quite obviously it is a film about America’s involvement in war (it is set during the first Gulf War) and the America’s position in the global environment.

The Big Lebowski (1998) by the Coen Brothers is no doubt a comedy film about friendships between three bowling buddies with differing personalities who met and stuck together as friends by choice in Los Angeles when the U. There is a cleverly placed contrast between violence, kidnapping, femme fatales and other dark elements that do not really go with the sunny, carefree impression of L. The ending scene of The Big Lebowski where the Dude and Walter scattered Donny’s ashes pleasantly reflected what seems to be delicate but actually strong bonds of relationships between the three main characters.

The Coen Brothers managed to capture the spirit of friendship bonding, conflicts, characters’ internal struggles as well as personal desires with exceptional cinematography and mise-en-scene through a plot that went from western to Film Noir. Such metaphorically structured contrasts along with well-constructed dialogues between three characters from varying backgrounds bring out the contradictory nature of how the Dude (Jeff Bridges), a bearded, unemployed long-haired hippie who did not care much about this world that lived in a dressing gown met his two best friends Walter Sobchak (John Goodman), a Vietnam vet who could not move on from the war period and Donny Kerabatsos (Steve Buscemi), a bland character that got ignored most of the time, who all lived with the shadow of intergeneration give-and-take hovering yet still managed to stay committed to their friendships even when they have their own burdens to deal with in life.The ending scene starts with a long shot of the Dude and Walter’s back view walking from the foreground to the middle ground on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.The way how the directors placed the two actors to walk a route in the middle of the screen with Walter leading the way in heavy posture, carrying Donny’s ashes in a milk-powder can implies that every human being alive are in line to face their own fate sooner or later.Walter wearing a military-hinted outfit while holding the milk-powder-can-like prop makes one of the many metaphorical contradictions that are placed in the movie.After the depressing, nerve-irritating eulogy comes the funny part.It’s no secret that The Big Lebowski is a film loaded with second meanings.I’ll admit that the first few times I saw it I was dense enough to think it was just a simple comedy (something at which it is pretty successful).The reappearance of sea gulls sound at this point represent the mockery of the Dude covered in ashes and also the shower of distorted society ideologies presented in this movie which are forced into our minds just like how sounds are forced into our heads.Towards the end of this scene, Walter’s action of putting down the can on the ground to comfort an offended version of Dude shows how he finally moved on from the past and started to focus on the present.I could be completely wrong, but the nation of America is represented by four figures in the film: The (real) Big Lebowski (success, religion, the upper class), Walter (the average citizen, religion, war), the Cowboy (wisdom, the big brother to the world) and Jackie Treehorn (religion, excess).When each one of these characters speaks, they are expressing a common view held in the country. There are many references, some subtle and some unsubtle, to war throughout the movie.


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