Kidnapping, murder, Mid-Western accents, and lots and lots of snow. That sums up Joel and Ethan Coen's latest creation, "Fargo." This black comedy, which takes place on the snowy plains of Fargo, North Dakota, is the tale of a botched kidnapping that leads to murder and unnecessary bloodshed. The tale begins when a fumbling car salesman (Oscar nominee William H. Macy) hires two thugs to kidnap his wife. His plan is for the "kidnappers" to demand a ransom for the wife's return, which will be paid by her wealthy father. A portion of the money will go to the criminals, while the rest will be kept by her husband to pay his debts. However, the plan goes awry when, while driving in their car, the kidnappers are seen with the missing woman by a police officer and two civilians, and they shoot the three innocent bystanders.
Police officer Marge Gunderson (Oscar winner Frances McDormand) enters the scene to investigate the murders and begins to detect foul play. She eventually pieces the story together and finds the kidnappers in an outrageous and sickeningly humorous climax unlike any you've seen.
Judging from the Coen brothers' previous films ("Raising Arizona" and "The Hudsucker Proxy"), it is no surprise that "Fargo" is such a darkly humorous, biting comedy. McDormand is outstanding, and great performances are also given by William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, and Peter Stormare. On video, it is well worth checking out.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.