Movie : The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Director : Joel and Ethan Coen
Cast : Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, James Franco, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe
Kazan, Tyne Daly, Harry Melling, and Tom Waits
Genre : Drama, Crime, Comedy, Western anthology
Six interesting, humorous, grim, vile, and mysterious tales set in the post-Civil War West are gripping enough to carry one through the short stories with plenty of mixed emotions about each, with each having a stronger impact than the others. The theme is thoroughly enjoyable for someone who has closely followed and adored the Coen Brothers’ filmography, with their trademark humor, black as tar, and the intrinsically crafted script. Each tale has a distinct plot mood, ranging from sing-alongs to tender romances to harrowing deaths.
The film is wrapped in death, sudden and terrifying, and it’s very lovely. The tales are almost fantastical and similar to folklore, befitting the title of it being a “ballad,” just like the time and place it is set in. The eccentric Buster Scruggs is definitely memorable and entertaining, but the audience must be prepared for the rest, because none of them disappoint, and each tale has a different emotional tone. Each tale varies in length from 10 to 40 minutes, but each one evolves in terms of character and theme just as much as the others.
And it is the director/writer duo’s fun-filled mastery that they do not depart from the storey while also delivering unforgettable characters from each. The Ballad delivers what the Coen Brothers have delivered over the past three decades, masterful storytelling at its finest, from jolly singing to unsettling, and a beautiful ode to the classic westerns while still being a part of them.