Saturday, 21 May 2011
The Purple Rose of Cairo 
The Purple Rose of Cairo must have been close to Woody Allen on account of it being a lovely homage to the joy of watching cinema. Cecelia (played memorably by Mia Farrow) is leading a drab existence, what with trying to survive in Depression Era America, losing her job, and being married to a brutish husband – all compounded by the fact that she’s a meek and docile person. So, in order to escape from her dreary life, she spends hours in movie theatres. While watching the eponymous movie – a screwball comedy – one of the film’s characters (played to perfection by Jeff Daniels) literally jumps out of the screen and run away with her. What follows is a series of immensely hilarious sequences, with the film’s other characters not being able to continue with their acts, while the movie’s director, producer and actors running helter-skelter to get hold of the renegade character. However, despite all the funny gags, a deep sense of melancholia pervades through the film, made all the more sad when Cecelia is forced to crash-land back to her glum existence after the guy who actually played the character (played again by Jeff Daniels) does a neat double cross on her in order to rescue his career. Though it falls short in terms of the intellectual content vis-à-vis Woody’s other renowned works, this bittersweet fantasy-comedy with its whimsical content remains an important part of his vaunted cannon nonetheless.
Director: Woody Allen
Genre: Comedy/Romantic Comedy/Fantasy/Media Satire