Movie Review Essay

Submitted By jpete552
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Pages: 4

Jacob Henderson

Reflective Essay
City Lights

The film that we watched in class was City Lights. It was a 1931 romantic comedy

written and directed by Charlie Chaplin. It was a black and white silent film. The few times that

the characters would talk to each, a scene would come up with a text box. The music was also

composed by Charlie Chaplin, and he was also the lead role in the film. The story line of the

movie revolves around a poorer gentlemen going through some comical antics, he falls in love

with a blind girl, is befriended by a millionaire, and eventually wins the heart of the fair maiden.

I thought that the film was pretty good. For an old black and white comedy, it was still

funny. Even without using any verbal dialogue, Chaplin was still able to get across to the viewer

the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Many of the actions of characters would exaggerated

to make the meaning clearer. When Chaplin is stuck of the sword of the statue, his escape efforts

are almost like that of a cartoon character. In fact, most of the actions done by Chaplin in the

movie are almost like precursors to modern cartoon characters. Like a human Donald Duck. He

is always the butt of some sort of joke, and it seems that a lot of people don’t like him, but they

don’t really have a good reason as to why they don’t like him. Chaplin is a good sport towards

the millionaire, but he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. The man only likes him when he is

drunk, and when he is sober he seems to forget all of the good that Chaplin has done for him

until he becomes drunk again. And then when Chaplin tries to help out Daisy, it seems as if the

universe just doesn’t want them to be together. He tries his best to earn money, but his perfectly

concocted plan ends up failing, and then he gets beat up.

The physical appearance of Chaplin’s character also adds to his comical effect. Chaplin is

short. The short, scrawny character is always the one who has the worst luck. They try to be the

hero, but they get outshined by other characters who do fit the part of the stereotypical film hero.

And no matter how hard he tries, his plans never succeed the way that he wants them to.

Chaplin tries his hardest, but he is unable to accomplish his goals without the aid of a

companion. All of the great epics have a duo of heroes. Where would Batman be if Alfred wasn’t

there to make sure that he still ate and kept Bruce Manor clean? Where would Robin Hood be

without Little John? But for Chaplin in this film, his helping companion is the person who lands

him in jail in the end. That is deep irony. The millionaire is only a friend to Chaplin when he is

drunk, but an enemy when he is sober. That too is irony. One would expect that a sober man

would make for a more suitable companion over a drunk one. But not in this story.

And then there is the classic theme of romance. Chaplin is a poor man who is smitten

with a beautiful young