Sunday 1 June 2008

Sunset Boulevard [1950]

Sunset Blvd. wasn’t just the greatest creation of the majestic quintessential American director Billy Wilder; it is also arguably the best movie ever made on Hollywood as well as the cruel, self-obsessed world of movie stars. Billy Wilder launched a vicious assault on the hollow, amoral, narcissistic movie industry in this acerbic, sarcastic, and brilliantly twisted thesis on the dream factory – where more dreams are shattered than made. This is the tale of a down and out screenwriter for B-movies who gets a golden opportunity to reap rewards in the form of a forgotten former screen idol. The movie becomes all the more engaging due to stellar performances by the lead actors - William Holden, as a cynical, ambitious out-of-luck writer, who recognizes an opportunity when he sees one; Gloria Swanson, as a faded film goddess trapped in a cruel time warp; and Erich Von Stroheim, as a former silent movie director who has had a drastic change of profession (movie lovers wouldn’t miss the irony). Watching this movie one can realize what dizzying heights can be achieved by a genius at the peak of his prowess. Bleak pitch black humour, fascinating black-and-white photography, riveting narrative laced with dollops of unsettling insights, cold cynicism and fatalist nihilism, a fantastic curtain-raiser that immediately hooks by revealing the impending doom, and an unforgettable climax – Sunset Blvd. is a masterpiece of the very highest order.

Director: Billy Wilder
Genre: Drama/Satire/Black Comedy/Film Noir/Showbiz Drama
Language: English
Country: US


1minutefilmreview said...

We have not had the pleasure of watching it yet, though we'll search high & low for your recommendation.

Shubhajit said...

ya i assure u this is a classic in the truest sense of the term...billy wilder was one helluva filmmaker...