Saturday, 12 March 2011
Deconstructing Harry 
Deconstructing Harry should formally find place among Woody Allen’s best works as also among his most deeply personal. This terrific and acerbic comedy was a biting self-reflection for Allen and an excellent parody on neurosis and narcissism in general. This brilliantly-titled film stars Allen as the eponymous Harry, a lewd, hypochondriac, middle-aged, lonely, philandering, self-obsessed and self-destructive intellectual, who is spectacularly incapable of forming stable relationships, is living a life of emptiness and grotesque excesses, and is suffering from a severe bout of writer’s block. He is to be honoured by his former alma mater – which, ironically, had expelled him when he was a student there – and the film delves on his existential crises leading to and following that event. Many might find the film misanthropic due to its dark theme and pointed jabs at things that most consider sacrosanct; yet, the self-lacerating humour (which, by the way, was incredibly funny at most places), thanks to his fascinating writing skills, is filled with such frankness and vitality as to make one wince, admire and reflect at the same time. The range of oddball characters (including some who are characters from his books!) surrounding Harry’s existence have been portrayed by a stellar cast comprising of Elizabeth Shue, Billy Crystal, Demi Moore, Robin Williams and Toby Maguire, among others.
Director: Woody Allen
Genre: Comedy/Black Comedy/Satire/Existential Comedy/Ensemble Film