Like many people, I often forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture in life. Brothers Ethan and Joel Coen do a magnificent job with A Serious Man (2009) to remind us that life could always be worse. The protagonist, Lawrence Gopnik, is put through a string of misfortune and suffering, which made me think that at some point he would end his own life. However, he doesn’t and we are left guessing if life will simply go on for poor Mr. Gopnik, despite the clues we get that the end may soon be in sight.
So many times during the film I found myself with my mouth agape and completely dumbfounded. Halfway through the film, I almost stood up and shouted “get up and punch the bloody bastard!” But that’s the brilliant thing about Gopnik’s character. He has so much self control, plays by the rules and is so hard to break. It’s hard not to respect him. I’m not sure I can say that I “enjoyed” the film, but I definitely appreciated the depth of the story and the dark humour, however bleak it was.