Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971) Review

It was a toss up for what to watch one fine evening. I am absolutely hooked on the series Breaking Bad and wanted to watch some more but my friend insisted that I watch A Clockwork Orange instead. It's one of the most famous and popular films of all time so I thought I may as well seeing how iconic it is. Sure, the name makes little sense (unless you really look deep)'s just one of those films that everyone has to see at some point in their life and I decided to find out why. Want to know? Let's find out!

Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) is a leader of a gang who spend their time causing havoc including assault, robbery and rape. After he pays a visit to an unassuming local, he ends up killing them and eventually gets arrested. In prison, Alex tries to redeem himself but ultimately learns of an experimental program that claims it will get Alex out of prison early and make sure he never returns. Upon leaving, Alex must adapt to the world that his actions prior to prison life has created.

After watching this film I can safely say that I can tell why this is so popular. Firstly, Malcolm McDowell is nothing short of amazing and it was a crime that he was snubbed at the Oscars. He creates a complex yet strangely enjoyable character (yeah...I said something that scares myself). Like Hannibal Lector, there's just something about these characters that makes them so engaging. I'm not saying I relate to Alex but he acts as the gateway for the audience to get immersed in the film. There's just something about the look, portrayal and the fact that he enjoys every horrific act that he commits. I could go on about how incredible Alex and Malcolm McDowell are but then this would be longer than my The Dark Knight Rises review.

You can tell almost instantly that this is a Stanley Kubrick movie. The cinematography and mise en scene is spectacular and has it's own style to it that I first was in The Shining. The shots and use of the camera gives an interesting spin on situations and adds to the affect. The image above is an example of a great shot in the film. It's also not that noticeable  but the music adds something. The opening music is especially an example of that...although that might just be because of Conker's Bad Fur Day (the opening is almost identical). You have to sort of get yourself into the film to understand everything but once you do, you're in for an incredible experience...that may disturb certain people.

A Clockwork Orange deserves every bit of recognition it deserves. I guess the downfall of the Oscars started with this film (no wins and no nomination for Malcolm McDowell...what the hell!). Could this be considered the best movie of all time? It's one of those films that could be. It's commonly seen on 'Best Films Ever' lists and I can see why. If you can take the bizarre style of Stanley Kubrick and ready for some...interesting moments then I couldn't recommend it enough...really, you should have watched this already.

A truly amazing film that delivers an amazing performance with some excellent cinematography that Kubrick is known for.

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