Fargo is a 1996 crime filmdirected by Joel Coen, produced by Ethan Coen and co-written by both thebrothers. The movie claims in the disclaimer that it is based on a true storybut by the end of the movie we get to know that it is not entirely chipped offa real-life story and is instead, a work of fiction. The brothers cleared thiscontroversy by stating that they combined a couple true incidents into onestory and made the film out of it.
So, it is based on a true story, yet a workof fiction. The film stars Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi,Harve Presnell along with Peter Stormare. The plot of movie is notentirely complex, but one cannot call it a simple plot either.
Jerry Lundegaardworks the job of a car salesman under his rich father-in-law’s company, Wade.Wade isn’t fond of Jerry, and in fact doesn’t seem to care about him at all.Jerry has got himself in trouble by misusing the money he got off from a cardealership. He cannot seem to find a way to pay the money back so he plans tohire two scrawny two lives to kidnap his wife, Jean, so they can get money outof his father-in-law in the form of ransom. Now the only problem in this planis that none of it goes accordingly. The two men Jerry hired, Carland Gaer, had a simple job of kidnapping a woman and asking for ransom inreturn. Instead of doing as told, they end up creating a giant mess in the formof a bloodshed in the city of Fargo. They go on to kill a trooper, twoeyewitnesses, Wade and Jean.
Gaer is later on seen killing Carl and burying hisbody. But the protagonist is neither Jerry not the scrawny duo, but the policechief of Brainerd, a pregnant woman named Marge Gunderson. Marge is a simple,yet extremely intelligent woman who is as quick as lightning to identify theincidents that took place during the crime scene.The most interesting thing aboutthis movie is that its characters are extremely ordinary. A desperate guy whowould to do anything to pay his money back, a loquacious – laconic criminalduo, and a married and pregnant sheriff. It does not get more ordinary thanthis. In a lot of ways, that is thebeauty of this movie.
No act done by any character is too evil or too heroic tobe true.However there is a cleancomparison in the lives of Jerry and Marge. Marge is portrayed as a figurine ofcourage, moral strength and intelligence. She is happily married to a simpleman, Norm, who does house chores and cooks her breakfast. Whereas, Jerry is an immoral,envious and powerless man who went on to extent of putting his wife’s life atstake and then finally losing her.
Marge seems to be just as content with herlife, as Jerry is miserable. It is to an extent, a contrast of greed versuscontentment. Except for the well writtencharacters, the film is called a classic also because of it’s background scorewhich has a great mix of violin and sleigh bells right from the first frame.Some other contributing key factors include the unexpected climax, brilliantdirection and phenomenal acting.