Tag Archives: coen brothers

Burn After Reading

Ethan and Joel Coen (not to be confused with Etan Cohen, cowriter of Tropic Thunder, and Joe Colen, my porn name) put the audience in a privileged position with Burn After Reading. So much so, in fact, we feel that we are in cahoots with the brotherly duo.

This dark comedy oozes tragic irony, which the Sarcasm Society, if they can be believed, defines as the “form of irony [in which] the words and actions of the characters, unbeknownst to them, betray the real situation, which the spectators fully realize.” We know more than the characters and sit uncomfortably at times, and elatedly at others, as bits of information are misunderstood or imperceptibly slip by the characters in an intolerably cruel way.

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