Sunday 29 January 2012

Play It Again, Sam [1972]

Play It Again, Sam remains a quintessential Woody Allen film, what with it being populated with neurotic characters, its impish and sardonic take on love and relationships, and its self-deprecating humour. Yet, quite ironically, this wasn’t directed by Allen; it’s another matter though that whoever has seen his movies would know that only Woody, and no one else, could have written the script – and that he most certainly did by adapting from his own stage play. The movie is about the quirky relationship and consequent emotional travails faced by Allan Felix (Woody Allen), a film writer, upon his divorce. He is such a huge fan of Humphrey Bogart that the actor has become something of an alter-ego for him, guiding him through his various personal issues and turmoils. During his incessant and hilarious quest to find a fiancé he eventually falls in love with Linda (Diane Keaton), the lonely wife of his workaholic best friend Dick (Tony Roberts). The film’s title, which is a reference to Casablanca, is interestingly one of the most misquoted movie lines – the iconic final scene of the classic is screened during the opening credits and is wonderfully recreated during its climax. Though the slapstick content could have been toned down a bit (the only proof that the movie wasn’t directed by Woody himself), this does remain consistently funny and immensely enjoyable. Interestingly, Annie Hall, arguably Woody’s greatest masterpiece along with Manhattan, could be considered a companion piece to it as it showed what would perhaps have followed had Allan and Linda got married at the end.

Director: Herbert Ross
Genre: Comedy/Romantic Comedy/Social Satire
Language: English
Country: US


Dan said...

The great Woody Allen. So many films. So many classics. Many I need to catch up with. I think my favourite is still Annie Hall but I love the black and white photography of Manhattan while my third favourite would probably be Purple Rose of Cairo. I recently really enjoyed Midnight In Paris.

Shubhajit said...

Yeah, Woody has been such a prolific filmmaker, and yet managed to come up with one classic after another. Annie Hall & Manhattan would occupy the top slots for me too, but even though I like Purple Rose of Cairo a few others would come ahead of it, like, Husbands & Wives, Hannah & Her Sisters, Deconstructing Harry, Zelig, etc. Thanks Dan for stopping by.