Saturday, 31 July 2010
Radio Days 
Radio Days is Woody Allen’s fond remembrance of the times when listening to the radio was not just part of pop-culture, but was also a national pastime for those who could afford it. Though a trip down memory lane, Allen ensured that the movie never veers into the territory of melodrama; instead, it is whimsical, littered with sharp humour and filled with the kind of warm-hearted nostalgia that is bittersweet but never sappy. The coming-of-age tale, narrated by Allen, is set during World War II, and has as its protagonist a neurotic boy, an obvious representation of the director himself, growing up in a neurotic middle-class Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. On one hand the episodic film shows how his family, his friends and in turn he himself are all glued to their favourite radio shows, while on the other we get to experience behind-the-scenes peek into the dysfunctional lives of the radio-stars who were otherwise the pop icons of the radio era. The film has no direct plot per se, instead it cross-cuts between the two strikingly dissimilar diaspora – the average blue-collar Americans and the schlocky uptown stars; and the two are bridged by a young and ambitious cigarette girl (played hilariously by Mia Farrow), albeit with a horrible accent, who dreams of making it big in the then glamorous world of radio stardom. The film boasts of a fine soundtrack commensurate with its theme.
Director: Woody Allen
Genre: Comedy/Ensemble Film/Coming-of-Age