A Serious Man. Please explain the end (spoiler alert).

Just saw the film A Serious Man. I didn’t really care for it, but seeing I got it at the library it didn’t cost me anything but time to watch it. So I’m not that bummed out by my dislike of it.

I have 2 questions about the end of the movie:

*What was the viewer supposed to take away from the doctor calling and wanting to see him in person? My only thought about it is “if it ain’t one thing, it’s another”. Or is that too simplistic of an observation?
*What was the viewer supposed to take away from the tornado scene at the very end? Were all those kids going to die? or was there some symbolism that I missed?

The doctor is going to give the main character some very bad news, which is logical considering how many things have already happened that he never got an explanation for from the rabbis.

The tornado is going to cause some destruction as well, but we will never know what or who it hits. Again, it’s the randomness of it that is the point. This is also something that the rabbis never admit to.

I might disagree a bit. The nature or theme of the plotline to date at that point was that things kept switching up and changing at the last minute and random shit just kept happening. So… who knows.

It was weird movie. I really didn’t “enjoy” watching it all that much, but the story was engrossing.

Read the book of Job. God is very random, and appears in a whirlwind.

This. I only learned about this after watching the movie, but it makes sense to see the whole thing as basically the story of Job in a modern setting.

I remember when I came home from watching it, I told my wife: “that was the most depressing comedy I’ve ever seen.”

Seconded. From IMDb’s Trivia page:

Can someone take a stab at the beginning now?

From the same link as above:

Of course, they also said Fargo was based on a true story, so …

Notice that both the Doctor’s call and the tornado occurred immediately after Larry’s changing the Korean student’s grade from failing to (barely) passing. So, if you take him changing the grade to be a loss of faith in God’s plan, then those two events could be seen as God’s punishment, taking both his health and his son for his doubt.

I’m probably not as familiar with the Book of Job as I should be to comment on this, but I believe Job never had a similar loss of faith, and therefore God rewarded Job with twice the riches that He had taken. Larry is instead punished, of course.

Right. Throughout most of the movie, Larry’s life appears to fall apart and fade away. (To snitch a line from Steely Dan.)

Toward the end, things begin to right themselves. He and his wife seem to be getting along better at the son’s bar mitzvah and he is about to secure tenure at the college. And so it appears he’s passed these tests of faith laid before him. (Remember, at several points, he frustratingly asks “Why is this happening?”)

Then he turns to the dark side, so to speak, by changing the grade and immediately God’s wrath is upon him.

Plenty of people didn’t care for this offering by the brothers Coen but I thought it was great.

So did I. It does require a great deal of concentration and pondering, and I had to buy it so I could watch it a couple more times and absorb more of it, but that’s fine with me.

The tornado at the end of the movie means…God has his own plan.