Saturday, March 27, 2010


“Nothing worth knowing is understood with the mind…the brain is the most overrated organ.”

Sometime we messed up missing the most beautiful gifted moments of our lives. It’s not when you got love but when you lost you realized its real worth. As great Ghalib pointed, “Mil jaaye to mitti…kho jaye to sona hai.” Manhattan is another absolutely masterpiece cinema from Woody Allen. Well, I just can’t stop loving this man. He is the only one Hollywood still has making films in what he believes.

It’s an unlikely romance between forty two years divorced old man and seventeen years old high school girl. He’s drifted by one of his friend’s girlfriend. Love needs no logic…it’s subtle, it’s complex & it’s often poignant. It’s not a film about brilliant plot and theme and all that schmuck…it’s watching & probing characters at deeper level with all those inherent, self abiding stupid characteristics which makes and mars any happening relationship. It’s simply not only just a tugging romance but a heartbreaking love story told with much subtleties & sensibilities.

Mary is too confusingly rational and relied much on her brain where exactly she’s repulsive emotionally; Tracy is too young and carried away by the image of old, experienced and intelligent wise man. And behind all his idiosyncrasies, quirks, cynicism & witty repartees, Isaac is self obsessed intellectual loner who ends up messing the most gifted relationship without knowing what exactly he wants. The last ten minutes in the film from recording his confession to desperately running to meet Tracy are truly moving ones…and what an end where kid seems mature and mature seems kiddy!!! What a heart breaking scene! Is it same emotionally vacuumed & helpless Woody who uttered those cheesy one liners throughout the film?

Woody and Diane Keaton’s chemistry again seems topnotch after earlier ‘Annie Hall’. Mariel Hemingway was too young and too naïve to act but watch the scene when Woody breaks her heart telling he loves somebody else; those emotions on her face seem so much genuine. Funny lines runs high even in few heartbreaking and unexpected moments too; watch a scene where pointing at skeleton in rage he’s saying great lines to Yale or a scene where he’s making love with Mary or Tracy.

Watch Woody & Keaton sitting on a park bench under the bridge, driving a car slowly on flyover or simply those planetarium frames…the movie wouldn’t be the same exquisitely ecstatic without Gordon Willis’ B&W cinematography. Other than Coppola, perhaps it’s Woody Allen who exploited his artistic sense. George Gershwin’s background score conducted by Zubin Mehta is equally uplifting the mood of all the moments.

Manhattan is also Woody Allen’s romance with the city of NY. In the very opening shot the voice over says, “He was too romantic about Manhattan, as he was about everything…To him, New York means beautiful woman.” Long shots of New York stay on screen for couple of minutes before any character appears on screen. It’s great and memorable opening sequence covered with sixty one classic B&W frames of the city matching perfectly with narrator’s words. Yeah I watched that scene number of times & literally counted all frames even after film is over. Exploring on locations of external parks, streets, bridge or visiting inner city museums, art galleries, cinemas, restaurants Woody just explored the NY and made us felt us the pulse of the city like none other.

I will watch it again & again…because there’s bit of Isaac in me too!!!


1 comment:

Pratik Modi said...

I think there is a bit of woodey in every thinking person. Thanks for recommending Manhattan, and I look forward to watching two more of his - Crimes and Misdemeanor; Match Point.

Keep recommending such movies that becomes part of your life experience. --Pratik