“No Country” no surprise

I just watched “No Country for Old Men” (2007; Coen brothers). I can attest that it is a brilliant movie, based on a brilliant book by Cormac McCarthy. It’s a scary movie about evil and the human condition. And, to judge from various reviewers, seems to mystify some folks.

The center of evil is a sociopathic killer, Anton Chigurh, who is portrayed as an amoral agent of fate. Well, brothers and sisters, Anton Chigurh, and the various assorted drug dealers et.al. are merely somewhat extreme examples of good old homo sapiens sapiens. In brief, members of our fallen species.

I used to be surprised, and disgusted, at the various cruelties man inflicts on man. Until I became a Christian, that is, and knew that this is merely our nature. Don’t mistake knowledge, however, for fatalism: I know that our duty, as Christians, is to fight evil as best we’re able. Evil within, and evil outside ourselves.

In brief, “No Country for Old Men” portrays the world as an evil, fallen place. With some good, of course, some characters with the sense to resist that evil, fight it even (e.g. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell). What the movie lacked was the hope for a better life beyond this one. What it also lacked was any notion that the world is the province of Satan.

I don’t expect a Hollywood movie, especially one with pretensions for gaining accolades and awards, to deal with the idea that the Devil is real, he’s always been with us, and he won’t go away until Christ returns. In short, “No Country” was not any kind of surprise: it was just a tad more graphic in its portrayal of evil.


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