Bangalore Film Society

Coffee & Cigarettes (2003)[]

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch

Cast: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray.

In an almost absent plot, lack of emotional involvement, uninteresting and unamusing conversations which might rather be passed off as light, senseless banter, vignettes abruptly stopping as if someone slept on the editing table, Coffee & Cigarettes is a revelation and a memorable, collectible piece of art. Why I call it a piece of art? Well, I have my reasons for that. Where else have you seen a craftsman not making any effort to divulge his craftsmanship? Where else would you see a bevy of “star performers” making a subtle understatement in their performances, that are not tryin’ any bit to be performances. These are almost unpretentious stories or pieces that challenge the basic tenets of story-telling.

Though all of them are unique in their treatment and proximity to life, the ones that stay with me still would be – Bill Murray as a psychotic waiter mulling over the harms of addiction and insanity, two old guys in a typical “wishing it was” moment, Alfred Molina trying hard to impress a repulsive Steve Coogan, a hilarious Tesla Coil forming the centre point of an otherwise pointless conversation between Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes and Steve Buschemi weighing the chances rather trying to prove that Elvis isn’t dead and that he has a twin.

There is something about this film that is not visible but like a supernatural force, pulls you towards it, sucks you in an invisible paranoia that screams that you like it, though you still might not willingly accept it that it does!