Sunday, 17 July 2011
Midnight Cowboy 
Midnight Cowboy, British filmmaker John Schlesinger’s first foray across the Atlantic Ocean, remains a cornerstone in American cinema. It became a part of the country’s collective conscience and the voice of a generation for its brilliant portrayal of angst, lost hopes. loneliness, decadence and urban alienation. Joe Buck (John Voigt), a naïve Texan with dreams in his eyes, arrives at New York to earn easy bucks as a gigolo. It doesn’t take long for his dreams to vaporize, but he ends up getting an endearing friend in Rico “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), a chain-smoking fellow-hustler afflicted with tuberculosis, whose American Dreams had been shattered long back. Their squalid and desperate existences form a fascinating counterpoint to the razzle-dazzle and lure of the Big Apple, the metropolis where all the two drifters strive for is to survive another day. Yet, for all its then-controversial depiction of drugs and sex, the film has a deep sense of pain and poignancy at its core, beautifully brought forth through the unforgettable friendship of the two outsiders. Dustin Hoffman, who had kick-started his career with The Graduate, gave a breathtaking performance as the tragic modern-day Tramp. The then-unknown John Voigt too shined as the film’s placid anti-hero. The excellent script and freewheeling structure, combined with arresting camerawork and sounds, added to the movie’s elevation into the pantheon of great films on friendship and bohemianism.
Director: John Schlesinger
Genre: Urban Drama/Buddy Film/Avante-Garde Film