Mistaken identity. Urination on a rug. Plot negligible. Hadn’t the title given it away, a fan would have certainly picked up on the cues. I’m talking about Jeff Bridges as Jeff Lebowski who references himself in the third person as The Dude. He has a problem with a soiled rug, bowls with fascinating people, and meets a richer version of himself.
Every so often, a movie comes out to blow away audience expectation of what a film should deliver. The Big Lebowski is a cult classic because of its ability to go beyond expectation. For today’s Wednesday Warriors, Jeff Lebowski takes center stage as The Dude who falls into a plot to pay a ransom for a kidnapped heiress.
Before continuing, this 1998 Coen brothers movie possesses very little plot. Other than The Dude’s penchant for wanting compensation for a stained rug, and his cravings for White Russians, he doesn’t have a job, no prospects for employment and he carries on as a 1990’s hippie. But you know what? It works.
If I were to summarize the movie in a quick one-sentence review, I would say this: It’s about a bunch of guys talking about life and hanging out. If anyone’s attempting to find meaning in the film, there isn’t any. It’s simply about guys doing what they do best—being guys.
However, that isn’t to say I haven’t found meaning in the movie. To me, The Dude represents someone who has figured things out. He knows himself well and understands his limitations. He has a way of communicating that, although others may find annoying, given he’s too laidback for his own good, brings everyone he speaks to into his world.
As many times as The Dude finds himself bound, kidnapped, drugged and lost, he always maintains a strong presence in his relationships with his friends. He may lose his mind every now and then, but he knows who his friends are. He never loses sight of those people who matter to him.
I enjoy watching The Dude react to every changing situation, whether it’s from a terrible bowling score or a car wasted on a bad bet. In all of The Dude’s dealings, he keeps one thing in mind—he keeps it real.
Jeff (The Dude) Lebowski is Wednesday Warriors’ down-to-earth character spotlight.
Have you seen The Big Lebowski? What do you think of Jeff Bridge’s interpretation of The Dude?