“This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987.”
Many of you recognize that from the opening of the film Fargo. Still more remember it from last weeks premier of the new stranger than fiction TV series by the same name. Of course, I believe the claim is ‘2006’ in the latter.
Thinking I remembered that claim being nothing but a fabrication, hatched by the Coen brothers, I decided to check into it. What I found was another fascinating story that in a way, is even more surreal than Forgo itself.
As we all know, the case containing the money was never explained any further than the burial. Well boys and girls, it seems that there are more than just a few, shall we say, disturbed people out in the world. Some of these individuals actually took the film as gospel and decided the money was prime for the taking. One person in particular went the extra mile or should I say, 6,000 miles.
Somehow, 28-year-old Takako Konishi from Tokyo, Japan scribed a crude map, which she was sure would lead her to the Fargo treasure. So sure in fact, that she hopped on a plane for America and ended up trudging around in the woods outside Bismarck, ND.
When approached by police, she tried to explain herself in Japanese, but the officers just couldn’t understand. They did however pick up that she kept uttering the word, “Fargo”. After realizing that she was looking for a fictitious case of money from a movie, they attempted to explain, but she was having none of it. So, they finally put her on a bus to Minnesota.
It wasn’t too long before those same Bismarck police officers got a call from authorities in Minnesota. It seems they had come across Takako and she had one of the officers business cards with her, hence, the communication. Jess, the officer who had put her on the bus took the call and asked if they found Takako roaming the forest. Yes, they did find her in the woods said the Fargo policeman, but she was dead.
Did she succumb to hypothermia after getting lost? Was she attacked by a bear or a wolf? How many ways can you die in the barren forests of the upper Midwest? There is one other way and it’s actually the most plausible explanation of all.
Apparently, the story of Takako travelling to the American Midwest for treasure from a movie was just a series of misunderstandings and urban legend story building. You know, the type that change with each telling? Although Takako was real and she was dead in Fargo, her demise was set in motion from the moment she checked out of her motel in Bismarck.
You see, Takako had fallen in love with a married American businessman. She had been with him in Minnesota on several occasions. The last call from her room in Bismarck was to a number in Minnesota, the number of her estranged lover.
Takako died of a broken heart and the Coen brothers dodged being named in a wrongful death suit. After all, they did lie at the beginning of Fargo and later admitted as such.
So, what of the FX TV series? Well, I caught it on In Demand and it looks like it may rival Breaking Bad by the time it’s said and done….then again, probably not. Check it out if you get a chance:
Mulder’s World (written by Scott McMan)