Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly (and school, here I come :P)

So there's like 2 weeks left before school starts. That is all :D

Now, for some reason, I was thinking of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I recently saw it. Like maybe a few weeks ago. Despite the fact that I loved it and can clearly see why it's a classic, I never actually imagined it to be that good.

This isn't really a review of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, because, well...I'm sure it's been praised hundred of times before. It's more of me coming to understatement as to what makes a great movie. See, here's the thing. I had no idea The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was a deconstruction of westerners. I thought it was just like a regular western, but I was willing to let that pass because I figured it was the first.

See, here's what I thought the story was:

You start with the Bad, Angel Eyes. He's evil and does things just...because he's evil. Or maybe because he wants to find a treasure or something. More or less, he's a monster. The Ugly, Tuco, is an idiot who once worked for Angel Eyes but pissed him off. He's the closest we're gonna get to anti-hero. So Angel Eyes is going to kill him and Tuco runs away and gets in a lot of trouble. That's when Blondie, the Good, would come in. He would be a big damn hero to Tuco and help him when he's in a bind. When he figures out Angel Eyes is a monster running around killing and raping people, Blondie decides to stop him (because...he's good :P) and Tuco follows. At first, Tuco won't be really good, he'll just follow around in dept. But of course, Blondie will turn him into a better man. (And also, Blondie gets to sleep with several women...or he gets the hottest female lead :P). And then we find Angel Eyes. And Blondie and him...fight, I guess? And then Tuco gets in trouble. Blondie saves him again. Angel Eyes almost kills Blondie as it looks like Tuco's gonna betray him. And then after a turn, Tuco decides he's loyal to Blondie and so he turns to the tables on Angel Eyes and helps Blondie, who in turn, kills Angel Eyes. There. That's what I thought the story would be.

I was so wrong.

When it started my reaction was:
*watches introduction of Tuco, shown as "the Ugly"*
Oh-kay...so far just how I pictured.

*watches introduction of Angel Eyes, calling him "the Bad"*

*watches introduction of Blondie, marking him "the Good"*
Wait....really?

And as it turns out...I had no idea why the f Blondie was the hero for half the story until he...well...he was good in the most anti-hero way possible! And Tuco wasn't just some load walking around like an idiot and making Blondie look good. He was an actual character. He had flaws and strengths. And Angel Eyes was...just..he made sense. He wasn't a boring villain.
Also noted, at some point, Angel Eyes and Blondie sort of team up O.o
Plus, as noted by T.V tropes

Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming: Blondie, who has been an unapologetically cynical and cruel person throughout the entire film, finally lives up to his label of "The Good" when he comforts a dying soldier in an unpretentiously spontaneous moment of kindness, lighting the boy One Last Smoke and warming him with his coat in his final moments.
  • Another touching moment is between Tuco and Blondie after the fight between Tuco and his brother. Tuco doesn't know that Blondie saw the fight, and tries to convince Blondie, if not himself, that his brother loves him and looks up to him, and we see the underlying sadness in how lonely he is and how his only "brother" is Blondie. Made much more sad when one thinks of the ending.
    • One of the best parts is Blondie's "and after a good meal, there's nothing like a cigar". He may be cold and pragmatic throughout most of the movie, but this little gesture of friendship and willingness to play along with Tuco's lie shows that he feels compassion for him, at least a little.
  • Not immediately obvious, but the final scene. Sure, Blondie leaves Tuco tied up, almost kills him and leaves without as much as a word. But think about it - he lets Tuco leave, lets him keep the gold, and indirectly tells him (by shooting the rope) that their score is settled. For a tough gunslinger, that's as close to explicitly making peace with Tuco as it possibly could be.

Yeah...

Hell, I didn't even know the civil war was part of the story. That's what I get for never watching trailers or even seeing movie posters.
In the end, I'm glad.

I guess that's what made the movie so great, and what separates incredible movies or just...stories from the norm. It doens't even have to be anything new and compelling (even though the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was rather new and a different outlook of westerns) but just the execution and the story have to be able to capture us.

Plus, not only was the story good, everything else was made of win.

The acting
The direction
The soundtrack
The setting
The dialogue
The costumes
Everything.

Ups, I guess this did turn into a major "praise the the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" post, but...meh. It was worth it.

~Becky

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