Friday, November 21, 2014

Love and Death - Movie Review

I don't know how I missed this 1975 Woody Allen classic (must have been misled by the title I think). The 70s Woody was so fresh, irreverent and crazy and you can feel his creative energy coming through in every frame. Completely crazy.

Woody is Boris Gruschenko who is a lot like the Woody we know - he likes to talk philosophy and not participate in stuff like war. He also loves his cousin (Diane Keaton) who talks philosophical nonsense with him but does not love him. She marries a fishmonger instead. Woody is asked to go to war when Napoleon invades Russia along with his two brothers. He is very reluctant but is somehow carted to the battlefront where he becomes a war hero quite by mistake. From there to meeting his old love again and marrying her quite by chance again (she thinks he will be killed in a duel the next day but he survives) Woody's life looks set. But there is war again and Woody's wife is not happy. She plans to assassinate Napoleon so they can start a family together. Doesn't quite work out that way. Last scene has Woody dancing away with Death (can see that in the poster above).

It's funny as in the Bananas, Small Time Crooks, Sleeper kinds. Totally in his element, as he pokes fun at Russian literature, at pseudo-philosophical discussions, at war, at marriage, at death and at love. Diane Keaton is brilliant. Superb chemistry between the two. Enjoyed it thoroughly. 

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