“Hail, Caesar!” tells an entertaining, exciting and comedic story with some interesting symbolism and hidden meanings below the surface to deepen the experience, which is customary for a Coen brothers film.
The story takes place in 1950s Hollywood, where Capital Pictures actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is missing. He was starring in a historical epic called “Hail, Caesar!,” but, since he has disappeared the movie cannot be finished. Now, it’s up to the head of physical production at Capital Pictures, Eddie Mannix, (Josh Brolin) to find him,
Not long after his investigation begins, Mannix receives a ransom note claiming that for $100,000, Baird Whitlock will be returned.
While pursuing Baird’s kidnappers, Eddie also has to put up with a standard day at his job. This includes dealing with a director unhappy with his lead actor; a pregnant but unmarried young starlet; and a group of gossip columnists hoping to expose all of Capital Pictures controversies.
This film is very lighthearted and not too serious. Although the stakes may be high, “Hail, Caesar!” never loses its comedic tone, making for an enjoyable, and easy to swallow experience.
But, this movie also features layers of symbolism and hidden meaning underneath it’s quirky exterior. It has messages dealing with beliefs and sin, which can be very intriguing and help make this movie deeper than it may seem.
The actors playing the actors give very good performances, as expected. They can be funny and serious while being believable but, you really can’t expect anything less from Joel and Ethan Coen, or from the all-star cast – consisting Clooney. Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Scarlet Johansson and Channing Tatum – portraying the characters.
The plot is a little loose and unfocused at times. There are lots of times the plot is put on hold for more character-centric scenes that help drive across the film’s quirky tone and ideological subtext.
When it’s over, “Hail, Caesar!” stands as a solid film with good characters, plot, humor and performances, but it didn’t quite resonate with me the way that other Coen films like “Fargo” or “The Big Lebowski” did. That aside, I think “Hail, Caesar!” has many good elements and is still worth your attention.
Quinn Zack is a freshman at Hamburg High School.