I had been clambering with difficulty over a rocky hill near my childhood home, and found myself moving toward a large white nightshirt hung ominously from the electrical wires, as some kind of warning or portent.
It happens to everyone.
This, then, explains the tonal shift that occurs in the final fifth of the story. Like a person, as the film approaches its end, its focus changes from the external to the internal; the money fades into insignificance.
This is the moment when the film reveals that the plot is not important.
Nor was it ever, really. Rather than being a cat-and-mouse thriller, No Country for Old Men is a coming-of-age tale in which the real protagonist, Sheriff Bell, comes to understand his place in the universe.
I actually think this story has something of a happy ending. The penultimate scene shows our antagonist incapacitated by a car crash.
This represents an uncaused event: Maybe the common denominator of the universe is not harmony — but chaos, hostility and murder. Llewelyn and Chigurh both suffer gunshot wounds in the same standoff, both get injured in what either is or appears to be a car accident, both hand over money for a shirt to dress their wounds.
People always describe Chigurh as a form of unstoppable evil, however, I think they ignore the fact that this story may be coming from the memory of Sheriff Bell — and may therefore be coloured by his feelings towards it. However, unlike the Texaco man, Carla Jean refuses to comply.
I think this is an important aspect of the story. Many philosophers believe that the key to our freedom is our ability to do things for a reason, rather than some confusing ability to do otherwise. So, this could be seen as an intellectual defeat for Chigurh. Maybe this is the point of the story.
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