Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Malcolm Mcdowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates
A real horrorshow
A Clockwork Orange is hands down, one of the best films I have ever seen. It blew me the away the first time I saw it and then it just started to grow on me, it probably hypnotises you somewhere amongst the sublime, surreal, psychedelic and genius film-making. Each time you watch it you gain something new and you find yourself appreciating more of it. This really is what all good films should be about.
The first 40 minutes defines the reason for its banning. It’s ultraviolent and disturbing even for today’s standards and also quite unsettling the way such awful acts are being committed with a surreal flair and sense of humour! The most controversial and famed part obviously being the iconic singing of “Singin’ in the Rain” whilst committing rape. You don’t know whether to laugh or gasp in shock, however in the end you find yourself doing a bit of both! The directing is so alive and full of unusual techniques and it comes together so beautifully.
Kubrick is obviously known for his exceptional films such as The Shining which is another horror masterpiece I adore. Here I think he gives his best example of directing. The cinematography is pretty much perfect! And there is no doubt about it, right down to the lighting it is just utterly beautiful to look at. The shadows of the four youths in front of the infamous tramp beating is possibly the best example of the genius cinematography. Even the fight scenes have a kind of beauty to them due to their balletic nature.
I know that some people will simply not quite “get” the weirdness but that’s because this sort of thing is unusual. This is an original approach to film-making and makes it what it is. The screenplay is nothing short of genius, even though you can hardly understand it with the futuristic speak like, “yarbles” and “viddy” yet you know what they’re saying! The plot is brilliant, we’re liking this truly awful character but because of the great writing and Malcolm Mcdowell’s exceptional performance. We get to sort of admire Alex. Malcolm carries such presence and charm to the film, which also makes it what it is! There is a great contrast between the psychedelic life of committing ultraviolent acts and the stillness of prison-life.
In the end we are given a flawless film. It shows a genius direction and writing along with characters who we can care about. This is nothing short of a masterpiece and one of the best films you will ever see. You might not take to it on the first viewing, but it’ll more than likely grown on you. 2001: A Space Odyssey was always going to a difficult one to top, but A Clockwork Orange isn’t too far behind.