Friday, February 26, 2010

review: Modern Times

Thank God! I needed this after 'Platoon' Bless Charlie Chaplin! I love his movies. I like them because they are funny, and they are also social commentary. Satire at its best! This movie is a doosey! It is honored by being on both AFI Top 100 lists as well as its 100 Laughs list.
It starts right away with a scene of a sheep herd moving together, which fades into a scene of workers coming out of the subway on their way to work. Now, who hasn't been in a traffic jam, or in a footrace to work or class, and not thought of that? Me, personally, I think more along the lines of ants, but you get the idea. You know from that first moment that this movie is not only going to make you laugh, it is going to say something!
This time the little Tramp is trying to make it in a modern world. He is a bolt tightener on an assembly line in a factory. One day, he has a bit of a breakdown and is sent to the hospital. After he recovers, he is sent out on the streets, where is mistakenly taken for a red leader and put in jail. The whole movie is really about the plight of both the employed and the unemployed, the search for work, and some humanity.
This movie is just utterly brilliant. Chaplin is so wonderful in this! And, considering this was the last true Tramp movie, the ending is particularly poignant. Walking into the sunset with hope.
This movie also features Charlie Chaplin's song "Smile" - although it is just instrumental in the piece. It really is a beautiful and touching song - just as this movie is both of those.
I can only gush over this movie so much without repeating myself, so I'll end the praise here.
See it!
5 out of 5 stars

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