The randomness of The Big Lebowski feels so nuanced and right for the characters, that a plot would seem unimportant. And it is, both to the audience and to “The Dude”, our star protagonist played by young Jeff Bridges, a comedy character to be remembered for a very long time. In truth, the movie just feels like the screenplay was written with pieces of meaningless dialogue taken from whatever the Coen’s were reading at the time. But this unlinear style is what makes the movie great.
Their are many scenes in The Big Lebowski where The Dude’s eyes are wide with surprise; he’s drunk on White Russians or smoking a joint whenever a daunting scene comes into gear. He crashes his car when he drops a steamy roach on his lap. He falls unconscious at a porn-filmmakers house after drinking a tainted white-Russian. He really never is in a clear state of mind throughout the entire movie. His next door neighbor obviously doesn’t know this, or thinks hes superior because of it, because he asks him to come and give notes about his stage performance, an awkward little shadow dance.
The Dude and his buddies, a vietnam veteran Walter Sobchack played by John Goodman and a car-wash worker “Donny” played by Steve Buscemi, talk about a bunch of things, including the history of a fellow bowler, Jesus played by John Turtorro, a cult-character who allegedly was a past pedophile; a comically uproarious clip of Jesus walking up the pathways of neighbor’s houses, having to explain that he is a pedophile, and a beer drinking man opens up: whats going to be his response? And then Jesus is a wise-cracking, confident bowler, even going so far as licking his ball.
The main plot that The Dude has on his mind in the movie, is that Jeff Lebowski, a rich man with the same name, has a wife and she’s been kidnapped. The Dude somehow gets involved and fails at being the courier of the money to pay-off the kidnappers, and then is thrust into a game of cat and mouse. With wacky characters popping-up along the way, like Lebowski’s daughter, Maude, who wants to co-produce with The Dude, but wants him to not be anywhere near the child. And little Larry, a kid who apparently stole the briefcase of money. The film is wild and hilarious, a cult favorite that has its own assemblies like Star Wars. Their will never be a movie made like this again, without feeling self-conscious of its own comedy.