Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Annie Hall

1977, Woody Allen, 93m

This film turned out to be exactly what I expected, and far below the riveting point. As my third film from him, I have a fair template of the branded product in my mind. There was little outside the numerous and often brilliant one liners, the references to high brow cultural subjects handled unaffectedly (that being what he is) and nuggets of homely or philosophical wisdom characterized by ease of delivery. This is too American a movie to be really effective in another hemisphere and it was with a sense of relief that I watched the end credits rolling up. The subject is the complexity, brief flowering and decay of relationships. It's the dolce vita all over again, tragic only in it's sheer boredom and absence of meaning. To paraphrase one of the witticisms from the film, life is like a restaurant where not only is the food bad, but also the portions are small. Life, he says is divided between the horrible (like being maimed or leprous), everything else being miserable, so one may be thankful to be merely miserable. The film is about those lucky enough to be miserable. But, from another viewpoint, even the horrible may be preferable to the enuii of a living death, implicit in the comforts of misery.

I still look forward to some of the "dark and serious" films of Woody Allen. I'm curious to know what time has done to this jittery philosopher.

4 comments:

Arvind Swarup Pathiki said...

you seem to be ODing on Woody. that's wonderful. enjoy the journey. dark and serious Woody Allens? i have been thinking for the last 15 minutes for what qualifies the description. hmmm... Match Point? Husbands and Wives? Stardust Memories? you must tell me if you consider them 'dark and serious' after watching those.

regards,
Arvind

S. M. Rana said...

@Arvind:

Right now I'm in the middle of his latest, except for one more probably, "Whatever Works"(2009).

Matt S said...

I cannot wait for Midnight in Paris, his newest film, and I need to see his one as well. Great review!

S. M. Rana said...

@ Matt
Generous to call my "review" great. Thanks. Midnight in Paris will be a long time arriving here in India!