Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jabber, she's a walky.

Watching City Lights left me almost as depressed as listening to Nine Inch Nails’ album “The Downward Spiral” in one sitting. The down and out protagonist never gives up even though he never really wins. Charlie Chaplin directs, produces, writes, composes and stars as the main character in City Lights. He plays the role of a rambling tramp, literally, constantly walking and not because he has restless leg syndrome. He befriends a real looker of a lady, the only problem is that she’s blind. So when the tramp coincidentally maneuvers his way through a wealthy man’s car onto the busy sidewalk where the blind girl sells flowers to pedestrians; Chaplin is immediately enthralled by the flower peddler. After a lengthy session of stalking her from around the corner, he offers to walk the young damsel home after her long day of strangers telling her “no thank you” to her sales prompt. They become infatuated with each other, and with the concept of love being blind being very applicable to their situation and talking not being applicable to the film, the body language casts a love spell so thick it warms my heart like an electric blanket. A savage version of Lasik eye surgery advertised in the paper and an eviction notice gives the Tramp an idea to fund an operation to cure her impairment and pay her overdue rent, considering he’s a newly found millionaire, money is of no concern. Luckily when the Tramp is not busy kissing the hand of his ruca, he’s parading around town with his actual-billionaire buddy who is also an alcoholic. His friend’s disposition makes the perfect combo for a person to mooch off of and Charlie does just this, he hits his drunkard pal up like a lonely teenage boy who wants to hang out. The only issue is the overly-protective butler that gives Chaplin the evil eye every chance he gets, so when he kicks Chaplin out for the last time after another blackout sleepover, Charlie Starts looking for work. His first employment is picking up animal feces, his second job is as a prize fighter where an attempt at a fixed fight ends with the kicking of the Tramp’s ass. Luckily while the fist trampled Tramp walks to his madam’s home to inform her of his epic fail, he runs into his old drinking buddy. While at his friend’s house, a home invasion goes badly and the meddling butler points the finger at Chaplin, but he’s not taken into custody before he has the chance to hand off the robbery money that he somehow ended up with to his gal pal for her needs. After several months of imprisonment, Chaplin walks the streets again and by chance bumps into his now visually capable and business owning lost love. Then the movie ends.
I felt that it was an amazing film. The most minute details Chaplin puts into his acting to get the point across without having to say a single word. And the fact that he composed the score too, and it’s very well written is another huge thing. I will definitely be watching this film again. Might even have a silent film phase this month.

The Downward Spiral download:

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