Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: City Lights (1931)

Film: City Lights (111/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

This is my favorite Chaplin film after The Great Dictator, although I have to admit it had been many years since I'd watched it. The story is uncomplicated: a tramp falls in love with a blind woman who sells flowers, and through a misunderstanding she believes he is a wealthy gentleman. Meanwhile the Tramp befriends a rich man who only remembers him when he's drunk. Hilarity ensues! What also ensues is a level of tenderness that he doesn't quite reach in many of his other films. The way he gazes lovingly at the flowergirl, the way he kisses her hand. Even his antics with the drunk millionaire are rooted in the Tramp's desire for friendship and being helpful. All the Tramp wants to do is help. This film is sweet, beautifully shot, and has real heart. That last shot sums it up: the little Tramp, clutching a flower, tears in his eyes, a look of joy and apprehension on his face. We don't know what the future holds in store for these characters, but this moment, now, is a thing of beauty. 

No comments:

Post a Comment