Movie Review: The Big Lebowski


The 1998 classic “The Big Lebowski” is a movie that at first seems odd, even bland and incomprehensible because of a complex plot, however, a closer look and a peelback of layers reveals much more.

Enter, The Dude. This is the name that our protagonist gives himself. Played by Jeff Bridges, he is unemployed, grows his hair out and dresses like a bum. Since its release, the big lebowski has amassed a cult like following with festivals and theme events organized around the world.

This is because the dude is seen as a sort of zen and almost enlightened being who lives with a lot more balance and peace than anyone else. The narrator drops hints everywhere in the movie and even the opening sequence is of a tumbleweed in the desert which is symbolic of the spirit of surrender to a higher power.

The film follows the quest to recover a carpet which is soiled by crooks and ends at a totally strange place. It’s a treat to watch once a person accepts that it is full of metaphors and little elements that make the dude lifestyle truly iconic. The archetype is that he is passive, does not indulge in capitalist practises or anything that someone from his generation would.

A majority of scenes are filmed in the bowling alley which is a spiritual place to the dude as a monastery to a monk. The themes are over simplified and very obvious and that is part of the beauty of the movie. The dude insists that he be called by that name or “his dudeness” and so on. We meet another man by the same name who is a scholarly over achiever and the stark contrasts might make You feel like the dude is a loser and not exactly an ideal. As the plot progresses we do realize that the other lebowski is actually flat broke and actually just living off of his ex- wife’s money. There is an edge at judgement here, the buddhists say that that is the end, the dude is holding and living a much higher ideal than a person who is chasing after the illusion of money or prestige.

The setting of the film is in a post Vietnam war period where the management and finance boom came to america and everyone followed suit. Everyone but the dude. The dude’s friend who is a war veteran feels entitled to certain things and is very vocally jewish. He is seen as a primitive form and someone who might evolve.

The big Lebowski is ridden with deep scenes and imagery of all kinds but if you’re someone who likes the media of film and have not seen it yet, your experience is still incomplete.

I would rate it at a well deserved 8 out of 10.

About the Author:

Tarun Sharma (PGGC 11)

Tarun Sharma
(PGGC 11)

I am an ordinary boy trying to see the extraordinary every day, eccentric, complicated, creation driven and obsessed with science, art and  trans-humanism, its time i shared my perspective.


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