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Non-Review Review: A Serious Man

I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something with A Serious Man. I mean, I get it, it’s all pointless and we’re meant to be as unable to make sense of it all as the dentist who finds words on his goy‘s teeth or Larry Gopnik himself, but there’s something ultimately uncomfortable about the film’s reflexiveness. After all, the story filters tales through tales through tales, with a rabbi sharing a pointless story with Larry as he waits there for the rabbi to instill it with meaning, but can’t. The movie’s central thesis is that – assuming he exists – God is a sadistic and horrible creature for the way he arranges the world without meaning and seemingly to punish a man “trying to be a serious man”. Of course, whether or not God exists is a question for each individual to come to themselves, but the film draws attention to its nature as a narrative rather than a documentary – first through a random introductory film and then through a-story-within-a-story – which makes it clear that while the real world may or may not have an omnipotent creator, Larry’s world does. And you can’t help but feel, at the end of it, that the Coens are really just dicks.

Is it wrong that I was a little board?

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