Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 10-09-2002, 02:26 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 1,237
FARGO: significance (if any) of Mike Yanagita

In the movie Fargo, when Chief Marge goes down to Mineapolis to work on her homicide case, she meets up with an old acquaintance from high school, Mike Yanagita.

I watched this movie again recently and wondered if there was any significance to his appearance that I was just missing. I know the Cohen brothers often throw extra scenes in for fun, but on the off chance that I'm overlooking something, I'd like to hear what you guys think.
#2
Old 10-09-2002, 03:18 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 857
IIRC, I read or heard a comment attributed to the Cohens, the jist of it being that they kept the scene because it showed several aspects of Marge's character quite well.

Quite likely there's more than that, too. Personally, I think that scene grounds the film nicely, and even acts as a microcosm of the reality in which Fargo's story unfolds. Think: in any other movie that scene would've turned out much differently, with sexual tension or high drama, nostalgic reflections of days-gone-by or what-not. Instead it is dealt with in a very subdued, even bleak fashion; the poor bastard just breaks down crying. The same goes for the film's central kidnapping plot, characters, even the portrayal of violence; they are by turns shocking and pitiful, but never larger-than-life. They don't exist in the standard movie "reality".

Just my opinion. Great, great film.
#3
Old 10-09-2002, 07:39 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 41,360
It's been pointed out that Mike is somewhat of a keystone of the plot.

He has that scene with Marge when he sounds so sincere about being in love with her. Later, she finds out he was lying, and she immediately goes back to talk to Jerry, who had sounded so sincere when she had questioned him before.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
#4
Old 10-09-2002, 07:50 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Elextrolux Starsucker4000
Posts: 3,140
I'm not sure if one has to do with the other. She seems to have an epiphany when driving home and returns to ask Jerry one more question. If she had been suspicious she would not have let him walk out of the room and escape.
#5
Old 10-09-2002, 09:48 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Green Lake, TX
Posts: 2,708
The two scenes may not be directly linked in the plot, but as RealityChuck points out, their structure and theme are very similar. The scene with Mike foreshadows the subsequent scene with Jerry.

Think about Of Mice and Men. Early in the story, the old man's dog is so old and sick that it needs to be put down for its own sake. The old man lets one of the ranch hands take the dog out and shoot it. This sets up the pivotal final scene in the book and movie, which has a very similar structure and theme, but with much greater consequences.

The same thing is happening in Fargo. The scene with Mike, which is relatively innocuous, helps to give the scene with Jerry that follows, which has much more serious consequences, more power.

It's also a motif of the movie: Interviews that conlude in unexpected ways.
#6
Old 10-09-2002, 09:58 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Green Lake, TX
Posts: 2,708
The two scenes may not be directly linked in the plot, but as RealityChuck points out, their structure and theme are very similar. The scene with Mike foreshadows the subsequent scene with Jerry.

Think about Of Mice and Men. Early in the story, the old man's dog is so old and sick that it needs to be put down for its own sake. The old man lets one of the ranch hands take the dog out and shoot it. This sets up the pivotal final scene in the book and movie, which has a very similar structure and theme, but with much greater consequences.

The same thing is happening in Fargo. The scene with Mike, which is relatively innocuous, helps to give the scene with Jerry that follows, which has much more serious consequences, more power.

It's also a motif of the movie: Interviews that conlude in unexpected ways.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:56 AM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: duluth armachillo underwear albertsons brand vodka dr girlfriend hot african written languages safe hentai are podiatrists mds pickup sideboards excel consulting jobs tighten up dance emotional dreams koolaid sugar free it must be love ford commercial occupancy sensor switch without ground one side of my nose is always stuffed how to join the church of scientology white stuff in mango nice to meet you too in french how to open a propane tank valve that is stuck hand leaning on wall how to keep onigiri fresh gold peak vs pure leaf liberty bell 7 hatch reach dental floss shortage japanese grill cook in front of you