Classic Movie Quest: “Dr Strangelove” and “Bonnie & Clyde”

Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learnt to Stop Worrying blah blah blah etc etc.

Starring Peter Sellers. I didn’t go into this completely blind, I knew 2 very important things:

1) It was a Peter Sellers movie, which meant it was guaranteed to be weird and a peculiar brand of funny.
2) It was satire based on the Cold War/Russian Spies/Nuclear Weapons fall out.

Unfortunately, that sums up all I can say about the plot (if there was one…) and in turn the characters. I couldn’t gel with it. Maybe it wasn’t my brand of humour, or maybe it was and it just fell flat for me. Either way, I didn’t find it funny enough to stick with it through the mind-boggling quick-cut narrative. I can’t say whether this is a good film despite my dislike of it, because it was just too bizarre for me to form an opinion on it either way beyond “dislike”. Maybe the point of the film is to power through the bizarre elements for the sake of experiencing the humouress parts? I don’t know. I really can’t say…

So, I gave up at the 40 minute mark. I might have given it more time, as I did like the board room scenes, but I felt like I already knew them and how those scenes would pan out thanks to watching Monsters Vs Aliens. Which I think says more about me than it does the film, unfortunately…


Bonnie & Clyde

Yet another film I went into blind (I have got to stop doing that). I knew nothing about the film beyond the fact that it was based on real-life events and people.

Unfortunately, not knowing much about the real people other than the basic fact that they were real people that were part of a criminal gang made it even more difficult to tell what was basic fact, what had been through the Hollywood Plot Device Machine, and what was somewhere between the two extremes. And I still haven’t really looked into them, so admittedly I’m still just as ignorant as I was before watching it.

Comparing it with Titanic, which was a very real event dramatised with (somewhat questionably-) plausible but fictional events, it’s hard to see these people really existing. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe they were so detached from society, that the film is more accurate than what I’d like to believe. The film, from what I saw, didn’t delve very far into the rest of the gang and that’s what baffled me further. Am I really meant to believe that two self-named “bank robbers” were able to just pick up willing strangers along the way to join their gang, with just a friendly conversation? Is that how it really happened? I wasn’t expecting an executive hiring process but it’s just so unbelievable to think they met these random people just completely by absolute random happenstance and that those people just willingly agreed to join them! Them, as in Bonnie & Clyde, known fugitives of the law!

And whilst I’m on it, at the point where Bonnie Parker is declaring to everyone within hearing distance that they’re “bank robbers”, not only is there no “they” about it, because Clyde had done all the robbing alone up to that point, but also when they did eventually attempt to rob a bank together for the first time robbing a bank together, Clyde went in with his gun, Bonnie was in the car… and the bank was empty. It had gone bust. So even then there was no “robbery”. Yet there she was, claiming plural bank robberies!

As a film in and of itself, from the 40 minutes I forced myself to watch, it was boring and overly romantic. I felt like the director behind the film was trying to make these people characters three dimensional people that I was meant to sympathise with, or at least Bonnie Parker; But from the moment she encouraged Clyde’s attention (And I feel awful saying it like that but that seems to the most accurate way to describe her actions towards him at the beginning), all sympathy points were dissolved and made null and void.

And if that’s the way it really happened, there’s not much I can say, is there? The film becomes even more frustrating to watch.


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