Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) Movie Review : A Coen Brothers Masterpiece

Inside-Llewyn-Davis-Stills-How do people achieve success in their respective fields? Is it just pure hard work or are there other factors which come into play.If you have read Malcolm Gladwell‘s Outliers ,you may remember the part where in Gladwell discusses and explains how not only passion and hard work but many other variable factors come into play to make a person successful. Inside Llewyn Davis about a folk singer Llewyn Davis who wants to make a career in music, but he is unsuccessful in doing so. Set in 1961’s New York’s folk music scene, the film traces the journey of the talented but unsuccessful Llewyn Davis.

What a better way to start the movie about music,with music itself.The music is mesmerizing and hypnotic, this also marks the return of T-Bone Burnett with Coen Brothers. Llewyn Davis has some talent, but his skills to handle relationships in real world leaves a lot to be desired. We see his darker shades on various occasions like when he tries to disturb an old lady who sings at a pub. He is hell bent on destroying himself,if you think pragmatically, Llewyn Davis is stuck in a vicious circle. It seems his next big break is soon but it never materializes somehow. 

He also has a streak of hurting those who try to help him. He is appalled by the conventional choices of his sister,Llewyn Davis cannot comprehend how she chooses a life of domestic bliss.While his friends Jim and his wife Jean sings songs which Davis cannot gel with, to make matters worse Jean has an one night stand with Davis. The predicament of Davis being truthful to his roots of music is revealed during one of the most hilarious scenes where Jim invites him to be part of a song called ” Hello,Mr.Kennedy “,this is the kind of the song which people would want to listen, but Llewyn Davis has no inclination to be part of such songs. Llewyn Davis knows that he can only express himself with his music and if he would shortchange it for commercial reasons, then as an artist he would not have a voice to express his feelings.

Inside Llewyn DavisInside Llewyn Davis is testimony to the fact that  Coen Brothers are the most talented and original film makers of our time.Time and time again they have excelled in whichever story they have brought to us. Everything in the film is simple as opposed to larger than life. In most films Coen Brothers deliberately makes everything lifelike. The struggles are not glorified, the characters do not undergo major changes suddenly understanding the meaning of the life and purpose. They depict the conflict between an artist’s struggle to follow his passion and sway away from consumerism and most importantly with people who have chosen a life less ordinary brilliantly.The film has an melancholic feeling for it’s entire duration, which does not mean the film lacks the usual Coen Brothers unique wit and dry humour which is still part of this film. This is a film where you feel nothing is happening, but when it ends, you realise this is a masterpiece created by Coen Brothers and I am sure the film will reside in your mind and heart for a long long time.

Justin Timberlake singing in Inside Llewyn DavisAs in most Coen Brothers film, the supporting cast is marvelous.  Carey Mulligan as Jim’s wife and ex-lover of Llewyn Davis is delight to watch, my bet is on her bagging an Oscar nomination for this role. Justin Timberlake as Jim is perfect, I wish he acts in more and more films in the coming days. John Goodman who plays Roland Turner who plays an jazz musician with a love for heroin is an absolute delight to watch. Oscar Isaac who plays the titular role,does it with a lot of conviction which is very difficult since the character does not have any redeeming feature about him and in general is what you can call a person who can be a pain in the ass. The extremely talented Oscar Isaac brings the character of Llewyn Davis to life with such eloquence that it is hard not to fall in love with him.


One of my favourite scenes from the film Inside Llewyn Davis

In the end, what appeals to us is that inside all of us there resides a Llewyn Davis, who want to follow his dreams and find his own way to express his voice. While at one point we all stop doing that and accept defeat, but Llewyn Davis does not do so and we do hope he continues to aspire for his dream,even though it may be difficult for an average talented man to find chances in such a competitive field.

Go watch Inside Llewyn Davis this weekend and I am sure you will be not disappointed for sure.


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