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"No Country For Old Men" - EXPLAINED

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

"No Country For Old Men" was an interesting movie and a real thriller. However, it is probably also the most nihilistic film I have ever seen.

In discussing it with others, I found that everybody had the same reaction at the end: "What happened, and where did the money go?". To satisfy my curiosity, I skim-read the book. The movie was very close to the book. If you want to watch the movie, read no further because I am going to explain it to you.

1. Moss, while hunting in the desert, finds the money after a big drug deal goes wrong. The Mexicans are after him to retrieve the money. He also has a killer Chigurh (pronounced sugar) on his tail.

2. The Mexicans had tapped sheriff Bell's phone.

3. Moss's wife called Bell and told him that Moss wanted her to meet him at the motel. She wanted Bell to bring him in and end the whole thing.

4. The Mexicans got to Moss first, had a shoot-out, killed Moss, did not find the money and were racing away when Bell showed up.

5. After the carnage was cleaned up and the cops left, Chigurh shows up, blows out the lock on the motel door and finds the money hidden in the duct as it had been earlier in the other motel.

6. Bell returns to the crime scene, still wondering what happened to the money. He finds the blown-out lock and the open duct and realizes Chigurh has been there and found the money. The movie is hazy here. To heighten the suspense, it makes it look like Chigurh is still in the room and they are going to have a showdown. But Chigurh was in his car watching Bell. Bell suspects Chigurh is still around somewhere, so he pretends to leave. By the time he calls the local cops back, Chigurh has made his escape.

7. Here is the part the movie completely leaves out. Chigurh returns the money to its rightful owner (RO). This is not the guy who hired Chigurh. Chigurh kills him earlier for putting Woody Harrelson's character on his tail. Anyway, the RO, who doesn't even know who Chigurh is, can't believe he is returning the money. Here we find out that Chigurh is an honorable killer who wants to complete his mission. He tells the RO that he is returning the money because it doesn't belong to him, and, if the RO needs a killer in the future, he is his man.

8. Then he goes off and kills Moss's wife because he had told Moss he would, and he has to keep his promise (remember he is a killer with principles). By the way, in the movie, the wife refuses to call the coin toss when Chigurh gives her a chance. In the book she finally calls it as heads, but it is tails.

9. After he kills the wife, he gets injured in the car accident when some drunks come speeding through a stop sign. But, he walks away from it.

10. Throughout the book, nobody knows who he is. Everybody that sees him ends up dead. He is like a ghost, and he is never caught. I suppose we can expect a sequel with the honorable killer on another rampage.

I hope this explains it to everybody, and you appreciate my efforts of sorting things out for you.

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I haven't seen this, but thank you for the explanation. I think that directors like to give the illusion of depth to their work, by making it as obscure as they can. After all, if your philosophy is vague, it is not likely that that it will manifest itself as other that, that in your work. I will only go so far in trying to make sense of what others are selling me. After that, I walk out.

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I thought it was a fun film. The killer is skilled. Always good to see, in a movie, somebody who is skilled and not because of some magical irrational gifts. I enjoyed it and would go see a sequel.

It's also nice to see killers who aren't also glorified, 6-pack showing, girl-collecting heroes. Killers are murderers, professional criminals. The film showed this well.

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