Wednesday, 7 May 2014

''Dr. Strangelove'' (1964 movie)- Review

The titular character
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Released: 1964
Country: United States

Genre: Dark comedy, War

Cast: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

Rating: 5 out of 5


I didn't really expect to love ''Dr Strangelove'' as much as I did. It is a bizarre film, there is no doubt in that, and yes, a great film; very entertaining, dryly and darkly humorous, and though it deals with a grim and fatal situation, the severity of the situation is overshadowed by the dry humor, the bizarreness and comedy that prevails throughout the film due to the actions and words of the characters and their behavior. The film never tries make us forget the serious situation that it deals with, but the dry humor, weirdness and wackiness definitely keeps us entertained and amused; I ended up loving this film!

Set during the Cold War, General Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden) orders the airborne bombers to attack Russia with nuclear bombs. He does this without the permission (and knowledge) of his superiors. When they come to know about this, everybody, including the President, Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers), are very concerned. They plan to call the bombers back, but the only way in which they can communicate with them is through a code that is known to none except Ripper himself. They think that it would be ridiculous to try all the possible codes, as it would take hours to try all of the codes. Worried and concerned, the President calls the Russian ambassador and informs him of the situation. The Russian ambassador informs them of something even more drastic: if any attack is made on Russia, a particular device made by the Russians will be triggered on automatically, which will cause the destruction of the entire plant and animal life of the world, leading to the destruction of life. Hearing this, everybody is scared and worried, but what steps can they take? For consultation, they have Dr. Strangelove (played by Peter Sellers), an ex-Nazi with an uncontrollable hand...

On the other hand, back in Ripper's office, Group Captain Mandrake (another role played by Peter Sellers) tries to convince Ripper to tell him the code, but to no avail...

These are the three major locations that we see throughout the film: the War Room, Ripper's office, and inside the aircrafts. In the War Room, there is an increasing amount of tension as the people inside the room start worrying about the drastic situations that will arise if Russia is attacked. In Ripper's office, we see Ripper and Mandrake, as Mandrake (unsuccessfully) tries to convince Ripper to call the bombers back, or to give him the code. And in the aircraft, the bombers keep approaching...

The film deals with a severe and drastic situations, but oh, I don't think I have ever seen a film like this one, a film that, without making us forget the severity of the situations, makes us so amused; it's such a hilarious, darkly comedic film. Stanley Kubrick is indeed one of the greatest directors ever (I am going to watch his most famous movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, soon). Some very unforgettable bits from the film: General Turgidson and the Russian ambassador start fighting; they are interrupted by President Merkin Muffley, who says "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" A perfect, amusing example of irony, isn't it? Dr Strangelove, a bizarre and odd character, a knowledgable scientist, is himself an extremely amusing character. The way he speaks, his expressions, and most notably, his uncontrollable hand- all these are all unforgettable. Peter Sellers's performance is AMAZING, as the three characters, Dr Strangelove, President Merkin Muffley, and Group Captain Mandrake. The ending... I didn't really expect it; it was so sudden and so unexpected!

And now a few words on the technical aspects. The cinematography is excellent, and I also loved the humming score; it's very memorable.

Overall, this film is unforgettable; though the story deals with a severe, dangerous situation, it never stops to be hilarious and is dryly, and darkly, comedic throughout. A really great film, one of the best films Kubrick made!

5 out of 5

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