Hold onto your Johnsons and have your dirty underwear ready because we are bowling into The Big Lebowski. As a Tongan, Kenyan and Briton, we certainly know what we are talking about! Quid Pro Mo brought to you by Filmbusters podcast.

Stats

Released: April 1998
Budget: $15,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $46,700,000

Breakdown and Analysis

  • TBL is the quintessential American right of passage film.
  • There were a lot of influences drawn from the Coen brothers and it was a delight to experience the original source in all it’s glory. Giving credit where credit is due.
  • It wasn’t until the driving narrative was introduced, that KT was drawn into the film.
  • It is rare to have a funny movie with a cohesive narrative, and TBL delivers on all counts. If you are feeling low and highly suspectible, do yourself a favour and watch TBL. Like a horror, you aren’t expecting great writing but this film had a plot and overarching exposition with full character development.
  • This film covers mental health in varying men in natural ways. A lot of the time, The Dude would check in with Walter. They would address it in ways that aren’t snooty and out of touch. It was approached in ways that relate to the common man.
  • We talked about which characters we chose to spend our emotional balance on. Ben talks about being with The Dude every step of the way and relating to his character.
  • The Dude is pushed through many complications, mostly not through his own action, and approaches it in good spirits. Sunglasses were The Dude’s Rambo thing. Jeff’s performance was effortless. You come across people and can see in their face that they’ve been through shit. While this is the case, healthy or not, he seemed to have ways of dealing with this. In the back of the limo, The Dude with his leg up, robe open with a White Russian. Is there a better way to face life? A delightful contrast to the common way of dealing with stressful situations.
  • Walter is a deeply complex character that viewers could easily dismiss as one dimensional. An interesting dialogue opens up with Walter at the centre. Walter has seen and been through shit. Every time he tried to interject what happened at ‘nam, for whatever reason whether it be levity or anything else, we never really got to address it. But you could see he was fighting demons that were much more powerful and much more intrinsic to himself that he could battle by himself. He was observing Jewish customs that aren’t even attached to him because he isn’t with his ex wife anymore. He looks after her dog while she is on vacation with another man. Oti didn’t relate to his character and pondered that only people with combat experience would be able to have his character resonate. His vulnerability was visible from the onset. So much of the time, if you are not ok and you need help, just reach out and tell someone. Walter did and no one addressed this. He is being dismissed in the way that he dismissed Donny. Maybe Walter is the give a dollar a day commercial that you cannot change the channel.
  • Interesting that Walter and The Dude choose to go the the bowling alley after deceiving with the dirty underwear. Also leaving the suitcase in the boot of the car.
  • Do you have to have exact life experience to have a character resonate with you?
  • This is happens when you find a stranger in the Alps. Best substituted line ever.
  • Jesus was not fleshed out enough for him to have a stand alone film as the leading character. Not sure what the appetite would be for this and how well this can be executed.
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman was a delight to have on screen and it was nice to see him take on a role with less complexity and fun.
  • When Walter was trying to call bullshit on The Big Lebowski, did anyone else have to control themselves when he pulled him out the wheelchair?
  • Julianne Moore’s Maude character was a few decades early of overtly feministic tendencies where she inserts her feminity. If you’ll pardon the vulva.
  • What built KT to crescendo was The Dude in a bathtub, Peter Stormare and his marmot.
  • The Dude and Walter are a perfect balance and will most likely be friends for life.

Unrelated but vital points

  • KT has the charisma of a cult leader. The Charles Manson of the podcasting world, if you will.
  • Pretty much everyone is most welcome in the For Your Reference household.
  • Ben came across this TBL in film school. He was won over after the 2 hours and it remains in his top 10 films of all time.
  • Just a reminder that Oti is an Arsenal fan. Yes, by choice.
  • Oti and KT watched it for the first time. As you will hear Oti was not a fan of this movie. KT does not share the same dangerous thoughts.
  • Ben has a pending producer credit in our household.
  • Oti is the Donny of this episode, KT is Walter and Ben is The Dude.
  • Oti is common. He assigned that to himself.
  • KT will make Oti and Ben fight gladiator style with Joaquin. That is a callback to the mention of Joker.
  • KT doesn’t know cocktails and her only reference of White Russians was Archer and it was green. Presumably Absinthe?
  • All it took was a friendly Brit to vanquish Oti.
  • Reminder of John Goodman’s brief appearance in Community where he tells people to turn away while he crawls out of the pillow fort.
  • Beat your ferret responsibly, kids.
  • When you hear Oti’s laugh, everything is alright in the world.
  • Ben, Paul and Adam are the Holy Trinity of the podcasting world.

For Your Reference

Filmbusters

Fargo  | TV Series (2014– ) 53min | Crime, Drama, Thriller | TV Series (2014– ) Summary: Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.
Countries: USALanguages: English, German, Korean, Spanish, American Sign Language, French, Russian, Hebrew
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) 2h 13min | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 9 November 2018 (USA) Summary: Six tales of life and violence in the Old West, following a singing gunslinger, a bank robber, a traveling impresario, an elderly prospector, a wagon train, and a perverse pair of bounty hunters.
Countries: USALanguages: English
No Country for Old Men (2007) 2h 2min | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 21 November 2007 (USA) Summary: Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.
Countries: USALanguages: English, Spanish

For Your Reference

Raising Arizona (1987) 1h 34min | Comedy, Crime | 17 April 1987 (USA) Summary: When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.
Countries: USALanguages: English
The Big Lebowski (1998) 1h 57min | Comedy, Crime, Sport | 6 March 1998 (USA) Summary: Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.
Countries: USA, UKLanguages: English, German, Hebrew, Spanish