There are thousands, if not millions, of fans who have taken to the dude and found his unkempt, unusual style and take on life a true source of inspiration in some form or another. His influence was evident even in big blockbusters like “Avengers: Endgame” this year. People who love “The Big Lebowski” don’t particularly use the Coen brothers film as a guide for life, but every single person that’s ever decided to let it in has at one time channeled the dude, every fan at one time has thought “What would the Dude do?”
Leave it to the Coen Brothers to provide movie audiences with a crime heroine that we’d never really see coming at some of the worst criminals around. Marge Gunderson is not your typical gumshoe and probably never really desired to be one growing up. She’s a small town simple woman who is about to give birth to a baby, and only really works until she is able to head off to the hospital. But things go from mundane to extraordinary when what seems like a random series of homicides on a snowy road side turns in to a very disastrous plot to extort and embezzle money out of a car dealership.
Llewyn Davis has just come to a startling realization. The only reason why anyone even knew him was because he was apart of a two man folk group. His partner, who committed suicide, is much more of a well known musical figure than Llewyn ever was, and now Llewyn is facing a life where the art form her cherishes the most will only be able to offer him fame or heart ache. What happens when a second tier musical performer has to carve out his own identity without a partner? Can you achieve fame and wealth without selling out your principles in the end? Does selling out destroy your value as a serious artist?
When Mattie Ross first meets Rooster Cogburn, it’s behind the walls of a ramshackle outhouse behind a farm house where Rooster is attempting to ward off his young hire while pushing off the runs in his privacy. He holds no pretense about keeping his respect or dignity for her nor does he try to show her his face in the midst of his groans, he just continues with his acts showing her all of the regard he thinks she deserves. When Mattie Ross finally sees Rooster he is a man she is unprepared to confront and has no idea how to approach him. He has one eye, speaks in an unintelligible mumbling monotone of voice that would indicate he is half asleep and drunken during his trial, and his recollections of pursuing and killing criminals are foggy at best. He is a man of loose morals and zero ethics, but Mattie is ready to meet Rooster and woo him with dollar signs and enthusiasm, to which Rooster is neither impressed nor amused by.
“The Big Lebowski” is probably my favorite Coen brothers film so far, even above “Fargo” in terms of sheer brilliance. “The Big Lebowski” is sort of a celebration of being a man, or in other terms, it’s a celebration of being a dude. Or The Dude. Or duder. Or El Duderino. But the pure fact remains that Bridges is a pure bad ass in anything he’s in and he shows it by being simply “The Dude”. Don’t ever call him Jeff Lebowski, though, it’s the dude. And that’s just the way he likes it. The Dude who lives at the bowling alley, hangs out with his psychotic friends, experiences rivalries with other bowlers, and just has fun finds himself in a humongous crime plot one night after returning home. Upon his return he discovers someone pissing on his carpet and is beaten up in his apartment. It so happens The Dude has been confused with another dude by the name of Jeff Lebowski, a millionaire whose daughter has been kidnapped.