Charly (1968)

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Charly (1968)

Post  BoG on Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:29 am


Cliff Robertson won the Oscar for his role as the title character - a mentally retarded man who undergoes a new experimental procedure which transforms him over the course of several weeks into a genius. The reason that Robertson won is obvious: he essentially plays two different characters in this film and the differences are staggering; it's also startling to see such two opposites in one film. He also depicts the gradual change in Charly as he becomes smarter. This is not some lurid sci-fi/horror film (a la Frankenstein) or even very much of a sci-fi story but more of a psychological study of the human condition through the prism of such a radical metamorphosis - the change is in the mind, not the body. The sci-fi element is this miracle treatment, yes, but it's merely the catalyst for most of the story.
The most interesting scenes are when Charly begins to get smarter; most of the stuff before and after is kind of dull, including his eventual romance with Claire Bloom's character (his doctor/psychiatrist), though there is always something of interest. The film also relies way too much on that multiple-screen-images technique so prevalent in the late sixties in film. There's a montage when he runs off to find himself, joins a motorcycle gang and becomes a swinger; it's brief and comes off as silly - it should have conveyed a long stretch of time but fails. There is a riveting scene near the end when Charly is presented on stage to a large group of scientists. The main thing about this film is that it causes a viewer to think things over afterwards. BoG's Score: 7.5 out of 10.
Charlie's Trivia: Based on the story and later novel Flowers For Algernon (Algernon is the name of the mouse)
and the play The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon.

Last edited by BoG on Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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