Friday, 26 February 2010

Bonnie And Clyde - 1967, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway

Now i'm sure most people, especially movie lovers, have seen this movie. But for some reason, i've never gotten round to watching it. Until today. I'd been planning to watch it for a long time and luckily my girlfriend had a copy, so i snapped it up and finally watched it tonight. Where do i begin? I always try to watch a movie from an unbiased perspective, not taking into account what i've been told or what i might of read about it. But for some reason, as i pressed play, my expectations were undoubtedly high. The synopsis on the DVD cover didn't help matters, tauting the film as "no ordinary gangster movie". I was rubbing my hands together in anticipation, as Bonnie and Clyde executed their first job, five minutes after meeting. Believable? Maybe it's not supposed to be, but in the context that it takes place, we sympathise for these two characters caught in the grip of the great depression. They're so cool i can't help liking them from the very beginning. It's adorable how they drink coke and he teaches her to shoot at a tyre. I digress.

The story held no surprises, but the action was frequent enough to keep me entertained. Faye Dunaway is stunning and Warren Beatty is charming. Both are in their prime, using all of their acting prowess to build this complex relationship up on the screen. We naturally favour them, despite them being the bad guys. This is down to their kindly disposition to "normal folks", such as shooting the bank sign and clarifying whether money belongs to the bank or the customer. They're good people it seems. But the media blows all of their movements out of proportions, making them appear worse than they really are. But hold on a minute. The gang have killed many police officers, and robbed more banks and stores than you can count on your hands. It says alot about Arthur Penn that we watch these two animals commit so much crime, and yet we still care about what happens to them. Let's not forget the other characters either, Moss and Buck are both so dumb you have to love them. Blanche, annoying as she is, is just along for the ride, so we can forgive her piercing shrieks.

Not much can be said about the music in the film. It doesn't seem like much, but it matches the theme and the setting perfectly. The hillbilly soundtrack is used sparingly so that it doesn't become too annoying, and it's comical at times, watching them speed off in a stolen car to this distinctly southern music.

I felt truly sad when the two criminals came to the end of their road. Especially heartbreaking was seeing Moss' relief from the hardware store window as they drove away. He thought they were safe, and that they'd made it out alive. As soon as we see Moss' father acting shifty on the roadside, we know what's about to happen, but poor B&C don't have the foggiest. Their death is brutal, with no opportunity for redemption. Not completely deserved, i felt. As their murderers stand over the dead bodies, they almost look sad that their prey is no more. They seem to mourn the passing of old friends, and so it seems that the audience has a connection with the murderers, as we too, feel the loss of our two bandits. I was only happy that B&C found the right time to consummate their relationship before they "bought it", thanks to Bonnies wonderfully crafted poem, which seems to finally set Clyde at ease with his complex towards sex.

Overall, i'd give the movie 8/10. It was enjoyable, a good length, and full of action. The characters were all wonderful (i especially enjoyed Gene Wilders small part) and the script and direction have stood the test of time. Go and watch this movie if you havn't already!

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