The Great Dictator[1940]-Hall of Fame

4 06 2011

The great dictator begins with an interesting note,”Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental’. Well considering the fact that Chaplin’s evergreen Tramp character sports a mustache which highly resembles Hitler’s and that they were both born with in a week in the same year,everything between Chaplin and Hitler seems coincidental. Like that there seems to be a lot of physical similarities between the both except for their outlook.

In 1940 when the film was released, America did not consider Hitler as a potential danger and their government followed a policy of non-intervention at first when it came to matters dealing with Europe. Not even American Jews viewed Hitler as an archetype of evil. And there lies Charlie Chaplin’s great vision in projecting Hitler as we now know.

Hitler vs Chaplin

The Great Dictator is Chaplin’s first talkie, leaving behind his stardom of the bygone silent era. Chaplin plays the dual roles of commiserate ,nameless jewish barber and Adenoid Hynkel,a despotic dictator who rose to power in Tomainia while the former was recovering from an injury induced amnesia after World War I.The antagonist in this movie is most definitely Hynkel[read Hitler] but we never feel any sort of revulsion towards the dictator,mostly because we don’t have time to be disgusted with him.Charlie chaplin plays his role as if he was born to caricature hitler and he is so effective that he imitates hitler’s way of speaking[with saliva all bursting out while he is at a speech!] with utmost precision and yet makes us laugh for its apparent buffoonish overtones.There are plenty of side cast in this movie who play important roles and add humor to the excellent script of Chaplin but the one who stands out among them all is unarguably Chaplin himself.

Chaplin has used music in this movie to an undefinable level,incorporating into his physical comedy with great dynamism.Two particularly noteworthy scenes are “The shaving” scene and the ‘Globe-ballet” scene.Both these scenes are blended with classic musicals with such a perfection only Chaplin could manage.The director-actor equation seems to be in perfect equilibrium for chaplin becuase the way he amalgamated the tragic realities of holocaust and comical side of nazi authoritarianism is really a work of genius.With all that has been said, there is no denying the fact that there are some moments in the film where tongue in cheek dialogues and physical buffoonery can be tiring.

Hynkel With Globe

Chaplin shows the lives of Jewish people with great respect and doesn’t force anything on the viewers.For Chaplin The Great Dictator was a really personal movie and this is clearly evident from the barber’s emotional speech about humanity at the end of the film.Throughout the film barber sports an artificial voice for his dialogues but for the final speech, it seems the voice is coming directly from the Chaplin’s heart.

More than 70 years since the movie’s release, Chaplin through his satire on totalitarianism and its evils is still able to move,inspire and tickle the funny bones of audience at the same time.And that definitely qualifies this movie for a place in The Great Movies list of Movie Junkyard.


1.Some of the real life characters and names of geographical locations caricatured by Chaplin.

::Hitler-Dictator  of Germany – Hynkel – Dictator of Tomainia

::Mussolini-Dictator of Italy   – Napaloni – Dictator of Bacteria

2.During Hynkel’s speech, there are several recognizable German words used. Most popular are “Wienerschnitzel” (a Viennese style breaded veal cutlet), and “Sauerkraut” (a kind of sour preserved cabbage). Others are “Leberwurst” and “Blitzkrieg”. Though some other utterances vaguely resemble words in German, the speech is actually gibberish. Several times in the film, Hynkel utters “cheese und cracken!” in the context of an obscenity.

3.When this film was released, Adolf Hitler banned it in Germany and in all countries occupied by the Nazis. Curiosity eventually got the best of him and he had a print brought in through Portugal. He screened it not once but twice. Unfortunately, history did not record his reaction to the film. When told of this, Charles Chaplin said, “I’d give anything to know what he thought of it.”

4.Charles Chaplin blinks fewer than ten times during the entire final speech, which lasts over five minutes.


Apoorva Raagam/Body Guard/Pokkiri Raja

5 12 2010

Apoorva Raagam

Apoorvaragam is the story of three youngsters Roopesh (Nishan), Nancy (Nithya) and Tommy (Asif Ali). Roopesh has always been in love with Nancy, but has never had the nerve to express it. For Nancy, love is something that is beyond words. Tommy is the perfect Cupid, who would make things happen for these two. Slowly Roopesh and Nancy falls in love.

Apoorva Raagam is a movie so heavily laden with twists and turns that it looks all artificial.The problem lies with the screenplay which is structured in such a way that it is reminiscent of the B grade horror movies churned out from hollywood beacuse of its ill fitting twists which are designed to provide shock value.And that brought the movie down.The only good thing about the movie is Nithya Menon who essayed her role quite convincingly.

Rating- [/5]

Body Guard

Bodyguard revolves around young Jayakrishnan (Dileep), who has a very strange habit; he adulates anyone with a trace of heroism. Whenever he develops an admiration towards a person, he prefers to move with that person as a sort of bodyguard. He starts admiring Ashokan (Thiagarajan), a former liquor tycoon and leading businessman. Jayakrishnan wants to be Ashokan’s bodyguard, but Ashokan does not need a bodyguard. later, Jayakrishnan approaches Ashokan with a recommendation from someone he cannot refuse. He achieves his luck after saving Ashokan from danger.

Jayakrishnan thus becomes the bodyguard of Ashokan’s only daughter Ammu (Nayantara). Jayakrishnan follows Ammu to her college as her bodyguard. Ammu and her friend Sethulakshmi (Mithra Kurian) gets irritated with him following them all day.

Body Guard is one of the better films I have seen in the recent years.Its  kind of a movie that is expected from a director like Sidique who is renowned for making movies with a great sense of humour.The movie has an unusual yet refreshing screenplay which caters to the need of some comic relief.But that doesn’t mean the screenplay is not flawed,especially in the first half of the movie in which it is half baked.Dileep has donned his role remarkably well and it maybe one of the better roles he has done in the past decade. Surprisingly Nayanthara has done a good job and newcomer Mithra Kurien looks promising.

Rating-  [/5]

Pokkiri Raja

I dont want to strain my mind nor my fingers to write the plot of the Pokkiri Raja.But I will say some thing about a Prithviraj starrer film called Vellithira.In that movie style raj is a drifter who moves from place to place with a projector and shows the movie to public for a living.And that movie has been made by putting together scenes from different films of Rajnikanth.It seems like director of Pokkiri raja is yet another version of style raj (or maybe style raj 2.0).

Vyshakh Abraham’s pokkiri Raja has bits and pieces of various telugu and tamil B grade masala.It doesnt doesn’t even comes in the genre of Tamilspired Masala films which are atleast entertaining[well atleast some of them…].Seems like this film likes to look upon itself as parody of masala films but it has failed miserably.It doesnt even come close to entertaining.But it still it remains a mystery as how this movie has got a 150+ days run.[maybe this shows the detiorating Quality of malayalam cinema!]and oh yeah,Mammooty and prithviraj stars in the movie along with shriya sharan.Blah!

Rating- [/5]

Movie poster[2]-2001:A Space Odyssey

2 04 2010

2001:A Space Odyssey


24 03 2010

%d bloggers like this: