Barry Lyndon (1975)


Link: Barry Lyndon

Summary: A young man is forced away from home and ends up marrying into a wealthy family, where, in his foolishness, he squanders his good fortune.

Thoughts: This is a bit of a bizarre film.  It doesn’t seem to take itself seriously.  I suppose this is true of a lot of Stanley Kubrick’s work.  There’s something self-consciously exaggerated about the story and the characters, as if we’re not meant to empathize with the characters, especially in their cruelty, but to view them as peculiar and intriguing specimens who make a wild story possible.  Characters are very one-dimensional, yet it works because of how they contrast or compliment one another, like characters from a fairy tale.  Visually, the film is nice and painterly, but it does not stand up to the sort of cinematography today’s technology makes possible.  Its age is evident.  Overall, I enjoyed it, but I think the story and the title character ultimately come across as a bit too dull for the film to share the status of some of Kubrick’s other work, like 2001, Spartacus, and Strangelove.

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