Murray, Jarmusch, and Broken Flowers

The chairs were quite comfortable at the movie theater.Ê It was especially comfortable not having to cram between strangers talking and sending text messages on their cell phones, because up until the previews I was the only one there. Soon though, a few people came in and I wasn’t by myself.

I was there, along with the others, to see Broken Flowers. This is Jim Jarmusch’s latest movie starring Bill Murray. Jarmusch also directed the black-and-white Coffee and Cigarettes, which is nothing more than conversations over coffee and cigarettes with moments of awkward silences, but it works.

Bill Murray, who is nothing short of The Man, plays Don Johnston who is called a “Don Juan” by his pseudo-detective friend Winston.Ê Don has to tell people that his name has a “t” in it so they don’t confuse him with that guy with the rolled-up sleeves from Miami Vice.

After Don’s current girlfriend leaves him, he receives a letter telling him that he has a son who is looking for him, but the letter has no return address or name.Ê Winston sends him on a journey to look for past girlfriends to find out where the letter came from. Of course, to say anymore would ruin the movie.

As I said, Bill Murray is The Man.Ê He played one of the wittiest and most sarcastic characters ever as Steve Zissou in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic. With his dry and almost emotionless delivery he is able to show so much.

By having the camera showing nothing but his face, Murray is able to express a look that shows a man who has had the life sucked out of him.

To give all the credit to Murray without mentioning Jarmusch wouldn’t be right. Jarmusch places Murray in these shots and throws in many small but important symbols throughout the movie.Ê The color pink and the constant shot of a basketball net at every house gives clues that any one of these could be the house he is searching for.

What exactly Don Johnston is looking for is up for debate.Ê He seems to want more but doesn’t seem to have a clue.Ê Nothing seems to affect him anymore because life itself has already done that.Ê

Jarmusch doesn’t need to have violence and death to be emotional. All he needs is a story of a lost soul, some cool music, and to cast The Man to play the leading character.