Barton Fink

I really enjoyed Barton Fink for the first hour or so, I thought it was really funny in a ridiculous sort of way but towards the end of the film I found myself restless. Part of my restlessness may be attributed to the last half hour of a three hour screening, and although my attention span is certainly suspect I haven’t felt that way at the end of any of the other screenings so I think it is fair to say that that is not the issue. I think I lost interest because the story became perdictable – after Barton wakes up next to a corpse and Charlie helps him out I felt pretty certain that it was Charlie who had done the killing. When the cops show up to question Barton it confirmed my suspicions and I started to lose interest.

Adding to my frustration was the fact that I didn;t really understand what happened at the end of the film. It wasn’t until after the sceening when I was talking about the movie as I left did I understand that the girl on the beach was the same girl from the picture in the hotel – this raised a bunch of new questions and made me even more confused – did Charlie kill Barton? Whose head was it in the box? If Barton was dead how long had he been dead for? The plot line about Barton’s screen play becamse unintersting to me after a while and so did his interactions with the studio members (althought they were really funy). I also didn’t really understand what the whole dance/fight scene at the USO ball was about. I know that the viewer is not always supposed to understand everything that happens and that we are supposed to work a lot of this out on our own but I left the screening feeling like the movie failed to give me enough tools to do the job on my own.

Anyway if someone feels like explaining some or all of what happened it would be greatly appreciated.

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