For two decades now, one figure has loomed large over the cinematic landscape, clad in a shabby bathrobe, clutching a hastily made White Russian, and just wanting someone to pay for his beloved rug, which really did tie the room together. That dude is
It’s a solid theory and it almost holds up to scrutiny. Throughout the movie, Walter is essentially the only one who interacts with Donny save for one or two moments here or there. Unless, of course, only the viewing audience can see Donny, and everyone else sees Walter speaking in two different voices. Given this context, it feels as though everyone else is simply too polite to bring up the fact that Walter is screaming into the void, perhaps because they know the toll his service took on him.Buscemi himself lent credence to this theory in a 2011 Q&A following a screening of the movie, but the Coen Bros. weren’t as confident in this bit of fan speculation. Speaking with
Now that’s is a fair point. The Dude definitely gets covered in ashes at the end of the movie. But who is to say that those aren’t actually Donny’s ashes that Walter had in his possession?
And yes, the Dude does seemingly interact directly with Donny once or twice. At one point, Donny tells the Dude that his phone is ringing and the Dude thanks him. But maybe–and just maybe–we’re experiencing a sort of Tyler Durden/
Or maybe Donny isn’t imaginary at all. In fact, Ethan Coen would take it one step further. In an interview he said, “Well, you could say any of the characters are imaginary if you wanna stretch it that far.
It was a good point, his brother Joel thought. “Ethan just pointed out something that’s very important, which is that all the characters are imaginary,” Joel Coen said. “They were all imagined. They don’t exist in reality. They were just made up for the movie.”
Now I don’t know about you guys, but that kind of pedantry is something that neither I nor the Dude will abide.
But what do you think? Do you agree with this fan theory? Do you think the Coen Brothers are playing coy? Let me know in the comments below