“I don’t want to live in anyway. Not in a stinking world like this. It’s stinking world because there is no law and order anymore! It stinks because it lets the young get onto the old like you done. It’s no world for an old man any longer. What kind of world is it at all! Man on the moon. Men spinning around the earth. And there’s no attention paid to earthly law and order no more.” This is pleading of an old man severely beaten up by Alex and gang on the road in the initial scene.
‘A Clockwork Orange’ is Stanley Kubrick’s symbolic cautionary tale of a shocking and unidentified future chaos with completely new kind of viewing experience. Armed with the razor-sharp edge of Kubrick’s social satire and his obsessive attention to detail. Its completely overwhelming experience to your senses with its flawless design, master cinematography of Kubrick loyal John Alcott and the depiction of brutal violence and sex set to upbeat music of Beethoven. Sex and violence is striking and in abundance and that’s why many people and critics reacted to it as ‘Vulgar piece of Art’ made my Kubrick. When Kubrick heard the comment he laughed and said, “Yes, they’re right, I achieved my goal.” This may not be the easy film to digest, but it is surely a genuine classic. The use of three base colors- red, blue and yellow was quite symbolic, seeking your detail attention if interested. Visual metaphors he used are dripped with irony. For example in Beethoven’s soul soothing 9th symphony and title track of musical ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (highlighting the emotion of ‘love) used as contrast to the diabolic violence and crude sexual aggression (instigating ‘hate’).
The casting decisions of Kubrick remained finest bet. Kubrick once said, ‘If Malcolm hadn’t been available I probably wouldn’t have made the film.’ The fresh aggressive energy of the youth nicely enacted by McDowell. If Nicholson was horror macabre in ‘The Shining’, Malcolm McDowell is greatest young maniac you ever seen on screen.
Exploring the darkness of modern age, Kubrick deconstructed the very notion of Human Civilization and Scientific progress and their proclamation to transform criminals into a responsible peace keeping social citizen. One can correct the individual but not the whole society. He raised a very pertinent question about the inherent and natural basic animal instinct of human. From Homosapiens to Homoerectus, humanity has made a wide and mammoth progress establishing and institutionalizing a better civilized world but still he’s million galaxy years away removing his ‘deep rooted animal instinct’. Viddy well Kubrick… Viddy well… You just encapsulated the Monster of all animals- “The Human’. To understand more, I would like to suggest you reading the most delightful and brilliant book written by popular zoologist Desmond Morris named ‘The Naked Ape’.
It was the first film to use the Dolby Digital Noise Reduction System and the one of the only two X-rated films (the other one being ‘Midnight Cowboy’) to be nominated for Best Picture Award at Oscars. It’s also nominated for Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Screenplay, but was defeated in each category quite surprisingly by William Friedkin’s ‘The French Connection.’
Absolutely Indelible Masterpiece of Kubrick.