Blood Simple (1984) Dir. Coen Brothers

Posted: December 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

Blood Simple is a very unique crime drama film compared to others. It is constructed with characters that are not too professional in their field of work. Ray’s biggest deed that he is carrying throughout the movie is that he is having an affair with a married woman, Abby. He does not follow to rules of society and deserves to punished with death. Ray always find himself covering for Abby when he finds the dead body of Marty, as he is too attached to her. He is inspired from a western hero stereotype. Abby plays a very strong character and probably the strongest character in the movie as she loses everything she has in the end. She is married to a rich man that is ready to settle down, but she choses to destroy this relationship and sleep with another man. She is responsible for the death of Ray and Marty. Marty has one of the weakest characteristic in this movie. Although he likes to have a professional mafia/gangster look, deep inside he is very weak. He throws up constantly during the movie, loses a physical fight with his wife and likes to order milk at the bar. He pays private detective to do the dirty work for him as a sign of weakness. Detective Loren has unique characteristics. He clearly doesn’t take life seriously, crazy at some times and certainly not a stable person. He fails to do the job he was payed to so he kills Marty when he was confronted.

Apart from the unprofessional characters, there are many signs of symbolism in the movie. The scene when Ray and Marty talk outside of the bar, the directed deliberately chose the particular background. The background of Ray was someone throwing away rubbish into the fire, and for Marty was an electric insect trap. This both symbolises death and shows that one point in this film, these two characters will eventually die. There are also a number of ceiling fan shots and then panning to the characters using graphic matching. This symbolises the circle of life and also the emptiness sound of the propellers slicing the atmosphere. There are also a number of props used in this film. Many scenes where ended on a close up on Loren’s lighter that he received as being ‘The Man of the Year’. It was the prop that forced Loren to come back to the bar which lead the story to a different way. It was covered with a bunch of dead fish which represented death in a very mafia-style way. Perhaps it was inspired from the movie ‘The Godfather’.

In my opinion this movie is really effective for film students like us as we can learn many things from this and adapt them to our studies. The cinematography is also very good and very detailed characters.

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