This is a very nice piece of work. Some of the more obvious signals on the meaning of this piece you'll get straight away. For the more subtle meanings you will need a second viewing, which I don't think is that much of a bad thing. The mise-en-scene is to die for.
Being as big a Coen Bros fan as I am, I already had very high expectations for this movie. They were surpassed twice. What a great movie. I think it's Deakins' finest camera work, first off. Also, great acting and dialogue. The tone is what makes this a great movie overall though: gripping, yet at the same time overwhelmingly uncomfortable.
Barton Fink stoicism was the visual self-representation of the common man. He was nauseated by Wrestling pictures. His obsession couldn't leave him to sleep or to ignore the mosquitoes and his brain was overheating when he forced his poetry against his nature. Side by side with the esoteric point of this movie I couldn't be satisfied as a common men myself. I wanted to know more about his plays, not his breakdown.
I've never loved Fink as much as I feel I should. I think it's the second act shifts of theme and narrative, which to me leaves things underdeveloped (Mayhew plot esp.). That said there is so much to admire, with a flawless construction of the hotel as staging for Fink's mental battles and an attack on the artist as proletariat. Shout out to Fear X, Turturro's other great film about mental corridors.
Terrible. Without any rhyme or reason. Ridicoulos. Up to a runtime of 60 minutes literally nothing happens; n o t h i n g. A man is sitting in his hotel room and trying to write a script. Basically that's it. The rest is a bit better, but nothing else than empty symbolics. One of the weakest Coen movies. Not satirical or surrealistical or funny; just bad. Absolutely overrated.