The movie Fargo was really interesting to watch and now to discuss. According to Aristotle, a tragedy consists of 6 things: Plot, Characters, Action, Spectacle, and Song and Thought. The whole plot is that Jerry runs into some money troubles and hires a guy to kidnap his wife so he can collect the ransom from his rich father-in-law. I think a major flaw in Jerry is his refusal to ask for help and see reality as it is. Getting your own wife kidnapped? Are you kidding me? Take out a loan or better yet, swallow your pride and explain the situation to someone who, if not on your side, is at least on his daughter’s side. Throughout the movie, we see more and more Jerry’s inability to think through a situation, when the kidnapping ends up becoming bigger than they anticipated, when he doesn’t get the investment from his father-in-law, or his nervous behavior when being questioned by Marge. He doesn’t have any emotional bandwidth to process the mess he made; his major flaw is he cannot control his emotions enough to think through a situation clearly. For Marge, she is similar but opposite. She treats everyone perhaps too kindly and ends up missing details. She is comfortable in her small-town police chief bubble. It’s only until she is faced with an incredibly uncomfortable situation where an old friend Mike breaks down in front of her, then she finds out he lied, that she recognizes where she may have gone wrong before. Aristotle describes this as Recognition,

“a change from ignorance to knowledge, producing love or hate between the persons destined by the poet for good or bad fortune,” 

There’s a switch that flips inside of her and she goes back to question someone who acted very suspicious, but she gave the benefit of the doubt beforehand- Jerry. While Jerry cannot control his emotions, Marge prefers to keep big emotions out of the picture entirely, which she displays as she fearlessly puts herself in dangerous situations.

Leave a Reply