'Fargo' Based on a True Story?

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By Anshu Shrivastava | April 30, 2014 8:24 PM EST

FX Network's "Fargo" is currently one of the most talked about T.V. shows. It is based on Coen brothers' movie of the same name. Like the movie, the show also claims to be based on a true story.

At the beginning of each episode, these lines appear as disclaimer:  "THIS IS A TRUE STORY. The events depicted took place in Minnesota in 2006. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of the respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred." The film also begins with a similar disclaimer. The only difference is the year. In "Fargo" movie, which released in March 1996, the event took place in the year 1987.

Alice Vincent of The Telegraph reveals in her article, "The truth behind Fargo's 'true story'," that the film was not based on a true story. It was just fiction, though the myth of it being based on real events pervaded. At the time, critics did not have Google to dig-out information and call Coen brothers' bluff.    

During the promotion of the movie, Coen brothers' stuck to the claim that "Fargo" is inspired by real events in Minnesota.  In an interview, Joel is quoted saying, "we wanted to try something based on a real story, and tell it in a way that was very pared down. He also adds that the film is "pretty close to the actual event."

However in an introduction to the published screenplay of "Fargo," Ethan Coen lets the truth out of the bag. In the closing sentence, he says, as quoted by Vincent, that the film "aims to be both homey and exotic, and pretends to be true."  

"Fargo" T.V. show is also not based on one true incident or event, according to reports. The text messages are reportedly a lie.

"Fargo" premieres on Thursday, May 01 on SBS One in Australia.  According to the brief synopsis of the show, Lorne Malvo (Bill Thornton) is a rootless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman).

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