A few blessedly good movies never lose their charm.
The passage of time only extends their allure and appeal to a new generation of movie buffs.
Last night I watched Charlie Chaplin’s first full length film The Kid (six reels and 52:30 minutes long), made 93 years ago and released in 1921.
The Kid is available for streaming on HuluPlus as part of the Criterion Collection of classic films ($7.99 monthly subscription required). Fortunately, with the Kid I was not subject to the usual barrage of ads that has ruined the HuluPlus experience for me and made the service seem like a mighty big ripoff.
Besides writing, directing and producing the film, Chaplin also composed the music and acted in it.
As is to be expected from movies of that far-off era, The Kid is a silent film.
The Kid features Charlie Chaplin as, what else, a tramp; Jackie Coogan plays the kid and Edna Purviance is the mother/film star.
The Kid is a remarkable film, one of those rare movies that has delighted hundreds of millions over 90 plus years.
After the Kid is abandoned by the Woman, a series of circumstances lands the kid into the tramp’s hands.
Like all great movies, The Kid is a clever amalgam that raises many emotions to the surface.
There’s, of course, the comedy aspect with Chaplin playing the impoverished tramp living by his wits.
The eponymous Kid is his sidekick and accomplice in minor crime.
The beauty of the Kid is that no single emotion dominates.
The comedy is balanced by the pathos of the poor, desperate, unwed mother compelled to forsake her baby; the miserable circumstances of the tramp and kid’s lives is balanced by their enormous love for each other.
The cruel indifference of the woman’s lover and her initial straitened circumstances is complemented by her later success as a film star.
Then there’s the cold-blooded bureaucracy of the orphan asylum and, finally, the greed of the flophouse owner followed by a happy ending.
Love, comedy, pathos, indifference, greed and happiness, the reigning emotions of the human condition.
Chaplin and Jackie Coogan are the anchors of the film.
Coogan was six-years old when the film was made.
Boy, what a delightful performance the adorable little imp delivers.
Chaplin is a master worthy of all the homage he has received.
It’s astonishing that despite wearing multiple hats (writer, director, producer, actor and composer), Chaplin falters not one whit in one aspect.
I felt no loss over the absence of spoken words. The delightful music is more than adequate compensation and so in tune with the movie.
If I had any grouse about the film, it’d be the Dreamland scenes. Perhaps, Chaplin wanted to highlight the base, wretched emotions underlying the human condition.
The Kid is a movie for all ages and all time.
I bet 100 years from now, movie buffs will delight in this gem as much as countless millions have since 1921.
SearchIndia.com enthusiastically recommends you schmucks set aside 52-minutes from your worthless, wretched lives to watch this gem, The Kid.