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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Rabbi's advice? - Be a Good boy!, 9 Jun. 2011
This review is from: A Serious Man [DVD] (DVD)
On the face of it "A Serious Man" is a movie showing the life of a forty something Jew Larry Goplik falling apart. His wife announces that she is seeing a much older man and wants a divorce. His teenage children ignore him. He is a professor at a local college and his hopeful of getting tenure. However one of his students is very unhappy with his grades and seems to be threatening to throw a spanner in the works.

He is at his wits end and decides to ask his local rabbi for advice. He eventually sees (or rather tries to see) three different rabbis, with mixed results to say the least.

Like all Coen movies it is brilliantly made and has some great darkly comic moments. You get the feeling the Coens are toying with the viewer though. They hint that great revelations will occur but finish the movie with an ambiguous (but probably appropriate) ending. They also throw in an apparently unrelated opening scene, set in a Jewish village in pre war Poland.

After his Bar Mitzvah Larry's son does one better than his father and meets the most senior rabbi, renowned for his learning and wisdom. After quoting from a "Jefferson Airplane" song the rabbi's main piece of advice is to "be a good boy".

Perhaps that's what the Coen's are saying in this movie. Good and bad things happen in life. There is probably no grand design to it. All you can do is to try "to be a good boy".
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jan 2013 13:43:20 GMT
Robert Sheed says:
The 'apparently unrelated opening scene' is about Schrödinger's Cat, which crops up in the film later where Larry is delivering a lecture. It also explains why the Coen Brothers, just like Larry, insist they don't know what it's about either. Look up Schrödinger's Cat on WikiP. Then watch the film again and you'll get it.
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