No Country for Old Men
The theme of No Country for Old Men is that even though the types of evil that people faced has changed there has always been evil that people battle. Two elements that contribute to this film are the elements of narrative form and sound.
The sound used by Ethan and Joel Coen in this film is very unique. There is no music score present during the whole one hundred and twenty-two minutes. Most of the time, a music score is used as a cue that something was going to happen on screen such as a dramatic score when the protagonist is being threatened or a gloomy score when a character is going through tough times. The visual cues in No Country for Old Men are so strong that a music score is not necessary to give hints that something is about to happen. When Anton Chigurh is killing someone he always uses his captive bolt pistol. As Anton gently reaches down and calmly twists the ...view middle of the document...
The second element in the film that contributes to theme is the narrative form. In No Country for Old Men is narrative form. The narrative form in this film is unorthodox compared to the traditional form because the characters in the film are introduced separately. Although the three main characters are separate for the entire story they are all connected by a similar conflict which they are all involved in. Ed Tom Bell, Anton Chigurh, Llewelyn Moss are all introduced independently and are very deep characters who contribute equally to the plot. These three characters are connected by cause and effect. When Llewelyn sends his wife to live with her mother it affects Anton and Ed and because these characters are individual from one another they are very broad characters. The Coen brothers are trying to convey their theme that the character in the evil in America hasn’t changed but the actions have. To support their theme, the characters had to be very deep and human so anyone could relate to them and they could show that the characters haven’t by not having the antagonist and supporting character a basic, flat character but instead giving them deep character traits. The theme of the movie becomes very apparent when Sheriff Bell goes to visit Ellis, his old partner. Bell explains the problems that he is having and complains that the world isn’t the same anymore and the country was falling apart. Ellis compares the sheriff’s stories to the story of his uncle being shot by Indians in 1909; after his story, Ellis tells him that what he has going on isn’t anything new and America has always been a tough place. Ellis also explains that there will always be evil no matter what. These key ideas support the theme of the film and are expressed through the narrative form of the film.
The theme in No Country for Old Men that the conflicts in America haven’t changed that much and evil will always be present are supported by the narrative form and the sound of the film. The sound locks the viewer into the film and immerses them in the story while the theme is expressed using round characters, parallels and comparisons.