Thursday, May 10, 2012

Silent Movie - Movie Review

Watched the Mel Brooks classic 'Silent Movie' last night with Raja and family and laughed a lot. For making slapstick,  completely ridiculous humour that one cannot help but fall in love with, Mel Brooks is a master. He takes irreverent potshots at everything and holds nothing sacred. I remember the huge 'Silent Movie' cutouts and posters in Hyderabad when it played there in Sangeet perhaps in the late 70s, we did not get tickets so watched some other movie. But later, on in the era of video cassettes and video players, we saw a whole bunch of Mel Brooks classics and I never laughed as much. He became my favourite funny movie maker as I watched 'Silent Movie', 'The Producers', 'Space Balls' (my favourite), 'History of the World', 'Blazing Saddles', 'Young Frankenstein' and so on again and again.

So watching the 'Silent Movie' again was great fun and he made me laugh at all the same jokes again, which is amazing. Mr. Mel Funn, a hit director who had hit the bottle after some flops, and his crazy team of Dom Bell and Egg, come up with a script for a silent movie and try to sell it to the Big Pictures studio chief. The chief rejects their idea of a silent movie in this era, but they convince him saying that they will sign up all the big stars. He agrees. The team then goes about convincing Burt Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, Ann Bancroft, Paul Newman, James Caan to do the movie in their own special manner - and succeed amid a lot of crazy and hilarious gags. But they have to contend with the rival studio Engulf and Devour (We have a finger in everything) who is out to sabotage their bid. Engulf and Devour finally resort to stopping 'Funn with sex' as they hire a voluptuous night club dancer to trap Funn with her love. Funn falls for her, but Egg and Bell tell him the truth. Funn hits the bottle but by now the girl discovers she is really in love and the movie gets rolling. In the end, with some help from flying coke bottles, Funn, Egg and , overcome the Engulf and Devour team and their movie is - a hit!

Highly recommended to anyone who has not laughed for a while (and for all those who wish to laugh at some serious slapstick). Mel Brooks as Mel Funn, Dom Deluis as Dom Bell and Marty Feldman as Egg are brilliant while the stars play themselves. The scene where Burt Reynolds suddenly discovers more than two hands soaping him in the shower as the team tries to win him over is outrageously funny. (Apparently the scene with James Caan in his make up van has been filched for Houseful 2 almost entirely - how wonderfully creative.) Go get the video out and watch this movie. It will get rid of all your blues for sure.

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