Sunday, 30 November 2014

''Manhattan'' (1979 movie)- Review

Directed by: Woody Allen
Released: 1979
Country: United States

Genres: Romantic comedy, Drama

Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep, Anne Byrne

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 


''Manhattan'' tells the story of Isaac Davis (Woody Allen), a man in his early 40s. He is divorced, and is having an affair with Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), who is only 17. The other people present in the story are Isaac's friend Yale Pollack (Michael Murphy) and his wife Emily (Anne Byrne). Yale is secretly having an affair with Mary (Diane Keaton), and soon informs Isaac about this. Isaac finds this hard to believe, as he always thought Yale and Emily to be a perfect couple.

While Isaac wants Tracy not to take their affair seriously because of their huge age difference, Tracy sincerely loves Isaac. She wants to be important in Isaac's life. On the other hand,  Yale cannot possibly spare enough time for Mary, as he is already married and has other responsibilities. After he breaks up with Mary, she (Mary) becomes very close to Isaac and that leads to a relationship. Things get difficult: Tracy loves Isaac. She is heartbroken to know that Isaac has fallen for someone else. Yale is struggling with a marriage he is not happy with. Where will these lead to?

There is another interesting woman in this film, and she is played by none other than the magnificent Meryl Streep. She plays Jill, Isaac's ex-wife, who turned out to be a lesbian, divorced Isaac, and moved in with her girlfriend, and is currently writing a book where she will discuss those days when she was married to Isaac, a project Isaac is not quite happy with. 

Now ''Manhattan'' was indeed something wonderful! It was really very witty, really very funny. The circumstances and the story were not funny at all, of course. But the dialogues. The script. The entire film was presented in such a humorous, light way. The light and witty atmosphere kept me smiling and it often made me laugh! In addition, the characters are so interesting. Sure, they act immaturely throughout the film. That is, Isaac, Mary and Yale. They cannot decide whom they actually love. They cannot sort out their priorities.  I would say Tracy was way better than these three 40-year old-characters. Sure, Tracy's decisions  and emotions for Isaac were rather immature, they were sure to hurt herself. But. She loved Isaac truly. She loved him and wanted to be important in his life. She did not suffer from dilemma like the older, ''matured'' people do. She was too dedicated to Isaac. That was rather a negative aspect. But she loved him truly. Throughout the film she remained loyal to Isaac. That is actually the thing that matters. But in spite of the dilemmas and ever-changing decisions of the three older characters, they were funny, they were interesting, they were likeable and cute (especially Isaac and Mary). Isaac and Mary looked quite sweet together as well.

Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy- they were excellent. And Mariel Hemingway- playing the young Tracy- was unforgettable.  And Meryl Streep, who remains memorable though playing a small role.

 Filmed in brilliant black-and-white, the film looks really good! Several scenes were really memorable as they were really good looking! There were some really beautiful scenes with Isaac and Mary.

''Manhattan'' is really an excellent film, it indeed is. Personally, I thought it was the best Woody Allen film I have watched till now. But that being said, I have watched seven or eight Woody Allen films (I know I need to watch more). Overall, it was an excellently-directed, excellently-written, excellently-acted film that was funny and witty and had a good mixture of funny and romantic elements along with occasional emotional moments.

4.5 out of 5




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