“I have absolutely no personality at all. I am a chameleon, when I am not playing a role, I am nobody.” – Peter Sellers
Meet Chance/Chauncey Gardiner, a child at heart dumb, innocent old man who worked his whole life as a gardener to his Master’s house. He’s compulsive TV addict and remained in the house ever since his birth. Never been to the outside world and never been into the car; the only world known to him is through television. He knows only one thing by heart- gardening. As film begins we witness the death of his old Master and soon he has to evacuate the house on attorney’s short notice and treads into the outside world with a bag and umbrella. What happens to him in plausible events and how Chance becomes Chauncey Gardiner- the man who inspired the American president is a tale of joy and fun of verbal misunderstanding and relatively connotative humor; quite a rarity nowadays!
No other actor than Peter Seller had done the same justice to this role, it’s naturally one of the most graceful and memorable character of his later career. More than acting, it’s Sellers’ influence and personality molds the character which is quite low key and quirky. Sellers was so impressed by Jerzy Kosinsky’s original novel that he offered him to pen screenplay of the film also. Hal Ashby’s careful and nurtured direction gave the film gentle, calm and serene touch. Worthy to mention is the act by the other old man- Melvyn Douglas as Senator Ben.
A finest feel good drama…watch it for brilliant Peter Sellers.