23 – Film studies write-ups (‘No Country For Old Men’ scene analysis)


The setting of this scene, is at a ‘Texaco’ by a road, out in the desert. So it is pretty much in the middle of no-where. Their is only one worker at the shop and their are no customers before Chigurh comes in. Behind the shop worker are some ropes, which are folded up into the shape of a whip. This sets the scene as a life or death situation. The man who works at the shop in a fairly old and he has worked their for many years. This means that the man who works their could be viewed as wiser, and more relate-able. The conversation starts off normal, before turning into a bit more awkward. The worker asks him a joky kind of question ‘You not getting any rain up here in a while’. Chigurh takes it more seriously. The worker then elaborates on his question ‘I’ve seen you was from Dallas’ before Chigurh turns the conversation around and starts making accusation against the shop worker ‘What business is it of yours, where I’m from, friendo?’ While Chigurh asks this question, their is a fairly strong wind in the background and that is all you can hear. This builds up the atmosphere and makes it seem like a bad situation. Before anything else is said, all you can see is the worker’s reaction, with just the wind breezing in the background. The worker offers his reasons while Chigurh still disputes what the worker said. Chigurh then starts making these quick witted arrogant responses to the worker. Then the worker starts to feel unsafe and tries to end the transaction by asking things such as ‘Is their anything wrong?’ and ‘Will their be anything else’. But Chigurh keeps responding in a serious while comical way ‘Is that what your asking me, is their something wrong with anything?’. By this point you can already tell that Chigurh isn’t going to just pay and leave. Then the worker tries to leave (verbally, not psychically) ‘Well, I need to see about closing now’. But Chigurh continues to frustrate the worker. Chigurh doesn’t say anything offensive towards him, but just keeps asking questions and making strange responses to everything. ‘Now is not the time, what time do you close?’ You can then feel for the worker who is trying to just leave because he says (in response to ‘What time do you close?’) ‘Generally round dark, at dark’ while pointing outside. But it is not very dark outside. Then their is a long pause where neither of them say anything and Chigurh just sighs. You can tell by then, that chigurh is not ‘the average man’. Then Chigurh breaks things down ‘You don’t know what your talking about do you’. And in the blink of an eye Chigurh asks a personal and fairly irrelevant question’ What time do you go to bed?’ The worker responds with ‘Sir?’ Then Chigurh starts to become more offensive ‘Your a bit death aren’t you, I said what time do you go to bed?’. You can see how shocked the worker is. He just doesn’t really know what is going on and why his customer is asking all of these question. The worker responds with ‘I’d say round Nine thirty’. Chigurh then responds in a jokey way, because he said the worker didn’t know what he was talking about.

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