Monday, 12 July 2010
Manhattan was Woody Allen’s ode to the romance, the neurosis and the vibrancy of his beloved New York city, things that have turned the metropolis into a myth of sorts among artists and urban intellectuals, and ranks among his most definitive films. The movie stars Allen as a divorced stand-up comedian who is fed up with his brainless TV appearances, and hopes to make it as a writer with far more profundity than his day job demands. He is living with a teenage girl, but finds himself getting attracted to a fellow Manhattan resident (the terrific Diane Keaton) whose cerebral exterior masks a confused interior. Though touted as a romantic comedy, the movie is filled with the kind of subtle nihilism, wry cynicism and self-deprecating humour that is quintessential Allen and far removed from the conventions popularly associated with the genre. Yet, deep within, the film is also filled with nostalgia and melancholy, marvelously captured by the quotable dialogues, lilting soundtrack, and delightful black-and-white photography – the sensuous vignettes of the city’s landmarks are breathtaking. Released just two years after his masterly Annie Hall, this complex, existential seriocomic examination of intellectual and personal dissatisfaction and artistic ennui, typified by the memorable set of New Yorkers, continues to enthrall viewers and remains, along with the former, a seminal film of the decade.
Director: Woody Allen
Genre: Comedy/Existential Comedy/Urban Comedy/Romance