Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Barry Lyndon (1975) review
IDENTITY-The sixth of Kubrick's favorite subjects as forementioned by the booklet.
PLOT:Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal) is a simple, poor Irishman that lives with his aunt in 1700s Ireland and is in love with his cousin, Nora. When he gets in a duel over her with a British trooper, he's forced to flee his home; changing names and going through many hard events. Along the chain of events, he marries a rich lady named Lyndon (Marisa Berenson) and becomes a rich Irishman, but this is where the troubles of now-named Barry Lyndon rev up. All through his life, he tries to be a pampered gentlemen, but is that really what he's supposed to be? It is a simple plot executed to the finest degree of unpredictability.
CAMERAWORK:Like 2001, this Kubrick classic contains some of the finest, most beautiful camerawork as he captures the landscapes, emotions, and action. Even during the fast scenes, any shaky cam goes down not as mistakes, but nostalgia.
OTHER CONTENT:Now, it is said in the booklet that Kubrick uses reverse psychology to make the audience wonder why Barry Lyndon is so important since there is a three-hour movie about him. The real truth behind this is that he's messing with his audience; Barry Lyndon is unimportant unless you find him important. "Barry Lyndon is Barry Lyndon as BARRY LYNDON is BARRY LYNDON." I thought this was clever, but pointless, for it was slow and made you wonder: what did I just watch? The movie is cinematic magic, but it has no real idea to it; a pointless gem if you will. I also found it lacking in substance compared to Kubrick's previous films. But enough of the bad, let's get back to the good. The script is well-written and the scenes are tense from perfect build-up of suspense and release of emotion.
OVERALL, a great Kubrick film with a perfectly unpredictable plot, top quality acting, well done score, beautiful camerawork, a well-written script, and perfect suspense build-up, but it lacks in substance through comparison and it's really pointless.