Film Review: Calm Down, We’re Being Very Un-Dude

Isha Dandekar, Staff Writer

The Big Lebowski is an everlasting movie. The Coen Brothers’ cult classic follows the easygoing Dude and the wild adventures he gets sucked into, and has remained effortlessly charming and strangely poignant through the years. Despite its bizarre premise, The Big Lebowski teaches us a meaningful message about embracing our realities that is increasingly relevant in our chaotic world. As the movie so famously says, “the Dude abides,” and so should we. 

Jeffrey Lebowski, known simply as “The Dude” (or His Dudeness, the Duder, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) is our protagonist, a middle-aged man with a penchant for bowling and a ‘take it easy’ attitude. When he is mistaken for a much more powerful man also named Jeffrey Lebowski (whose wife owes quite a lot of money to some very dangerous people), the Dude has his precious rug peed on in a misguided revenge plot. Determined to receive compensation for his damaged rug, the Dude embarks on a quest. What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable tale as The Dude and his two of his friends encounter nihilists, marmots, kidnappings, and more. 

While this movie seems silly, it is anything but superficial. The movie’s opening visual of a tumbleweed rolling across the beautiful California landscape encapsulates the film’s message: sometimes, the best adventures come when you let go and let life take you where it will. The Dude follows this mantra— he goes with the flow and ends up on more adventures in a few days than most people will experience in a lifetime. If we all take a step back and take life as it comes, we might find that, like the Dude, we get roped into the most unexpected and unique adventures. 

We live in an uncertain time, where all our plans have been upended and we have no way of knowing what the next days, weeks, or even months hold for us. We have lost control over a large part of our lives, and that’s a scary feeling. However, this movie is here to remind us that losing control is not always a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise. If we all take the movie’s message to heart, we might find that there’s more to life than plans, and realize that sometimes the best thing you can do is let go and live a little.