Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Elephant Man (1980) Review

The Elephant Man (1980)
Directed By: David Lynch

The Elephant Man being one of the most famous movies in the 1980's it is a insight of the life of a man who is suffering from a disfiguring congenital disease, his name is John Merrick (John Hurt), who is found by doctor Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), who sets out to give John Merrick the life he deserves...

When I sat down to write this review I was compelled to inform you that I found the movie a great drag, but the story itself was heart wrenching, because I felt complete empathy for this man, who just wants to be a normal man, but it appears everyone disagrees with this.

The movie seems to appear as a basic linear structure, but one thing that annoied me the most was the, what I can only call, 'dream-sequences' at the begining and end of the movie, which both featured elephants and John Merrick's mother, where she was originally attacked by a elephant, it is also lead to believe that her fear was so intense that the elephant fear imprinted on her child, John, who was in the womb when she was attacked.

It is aso interesting that even though the movie was made in the 1980's it was produced in black and white, I would presume they went with this method to give not only more age to the movie and help it set itself within the period of time it was story takes place, it would also help the audience understand the life style back then, as well as being able to make the actors, in a sense, more believable and more dated.

"Black and white widescreen provides a sumptuous backdrop to excellent turns from a youthful Anthony Hopkins and an unrecognisable John Hurt."

The transformation also is remarkable, from John becoming a simple circus freak, that frightened women and the faint of heart, to the extent of him becoming one of the most beloved by the public and famous...

"abused as an inhuman freak, was gradually coaxed into revealing a soul of such delicacy and refinement that he became a lion of Victorian society."

Its also astounding from a production side that John Hurt had to undergo hours upon hours of make-up, which does scare a great deal of actors, yet he still substains a rememerable role
"Here’s a character requiring makeup that entirely obscures the actor’s appearance, and speaking impediments substantial enough to make his voice unrecognizable. Yet Hurt took on the role with relish, and delivers as subtle and wonderful a performance..."

To conclude I believe this to be a film that should take all credit it deserves, the only real threat I believe the movie has is its length, it did drag on for some time to express a story which could of been shortened, but this could be myself being a member of the 'YouTube-Generation' otherwise I really enjoyed The Elephant Man.

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