The Big Lebowski

Take one look at this pre-millennium undemanding example of an alternative lifestyle dressed in his bowling shirt and well-worn shorts, toting both a lay- back joint and the easy attitude of a survivor, as he
The Big Lebowski.
© Polygram Film Entertainment
faces dreadful calamities that unexpectedly pop-up in the life of a regular guy who just wants to get on with it (or not, as the case may be) and you will soon to come to the realization, as the Coen bros. obviously have, that "the dude abides". The ball starts rolling this time around when two petty gangster-types shove the Dude's head into his own (a nice personal touch) toilet bowl and then proceed to piss all over his rug. The only mistake he made was being born with the same name as somebody else. Mistaken identity, it would seem, can not only make you rich; in the wrong circles, it could quite possibly kill you. Twists and turns "a-la- Coen" throughout the world of an ex-seeker of the psychedelic 70's lead our Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) through what must often seem to him like a bad flashback. The Jeffrey Lebowski with whose life he has become unexpectedly and incontrovertibly entangled is an aging millionaire from Pasadena with a sophisticated daughter called Maude (Julianne Moore) who's got what it takes and a wife named Bunny (Tara Reid) that's too hot to trot.

Once the Dude visits Daddy Bigbucks and their worlds collide, the ensuing trail opens up to reveal extortion, double-crosses, deceptions, and embezzlement, with an adequate sprinkling of sex and dope. In other words, go to this film expecting a good time. Along for the ride is the Dude's right-hand man, Walter (John Goodman), who's the kind of guy that, once having made a decision, follows it through to the end, no matter how bitter or ill advised. Nam has a lot to answer for, and that also includes the way Walter thinks (if that word is the operative word). Their other bowling buddy and good time companion is Donny (Steve Buscemi), an ex-surfer (sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it?). Naturally, mucho other fantastic characters appear throughout (as can be expected of the Coen creations) and not least memorable among the entourage is Jesus Quintana (John Turturro), the flashy bowler with the sleek azure jumpsuit, the tawdry hairnet and the tongue of questionably taste. It's all sort of like Raymond Chandler goes Busby Burkeley or Chinatown meets Cheech and Chong.

Among numerous stars putting in appearances are Ben Gazzara, David Thewlis, David Huddleston and Sam Elliott. Instead of listing all the tech credits (be assured that all the ingredients, as usual, are plus points), let me just make a special mention of DP Roger Deakins for the beautifully framed images of all the cast and crew's fabulous work.


It only seems suitable to leave all you sidekicks with this to think about: Would you believe everything a Stranger tells you?

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett