Wednesday 26 January 2011

Zelig [1983]

Woody Allen isn’t just one of the greatest American filmmakers, he’s also a prankster of the first order. And not to mention, an exceptional humorist too. Zelig might not rank alongside the likes of Annie Hall, Manhattan et al, but it does unequivocally prove what I’ve written above. The film, a mocumentary (mock-documentary) to be precise, is the biopic of a fictional character called Leonard Zelig, a mysterious, diminutive “human chameleon” living in Depression-era America. Comprising of faux-interviews and seemingly vintage newsreel clips and footage, the film tells the tale of a man with stunning (if bizarre) abilities, and who had the Forest Gump­-like knack (or should I have mentioned it the other way round) to be at the right time and right place of some of the most celebrated pop-culture moments of that period. The film is filled with wit, humour and zany gags courtesy the crackling script and the brilliant ideation, and it boasts of jaw-dropping technical wizardry where editing and post-production go. Woody Allen played Zelig in his imitable style, while Mia Farrow was equally great in the role of a chain-smoking psychiatrist who doesn’t just go to exceptional lengths to treat Zelig, but also eventually falls for him and marries him. The film might not have great psychological depth as some of Allen’s more famous films, but it is an immensely delightful watch and a nostalgic pastiche to an era, as the line in the song American Pie goes, “lost in space”.

Director: Woody Allen
Genre: Comedy/Satire/Mocumentary/Fantasy
Language: English
Country: US


ZC said...

Your description has firmly persuaded me to see the film. Looking forward to it...

Shubhajit said...

Great, I'm really happy to have been able to persuade you to watch it. And I'd be very interested to know how you like it.