Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Third Man

Harry Lime (Orson Welles), clearly the most uninteresting
character ever to grace a cinema...  Image via cjwalsh
Yes, that's right, not even the 'Best British film of the 20th Century' (according to the British Film Institute in 1999), The Third Man, is exempt from those morons over at
My wife and I love classic movies, and Joseph Cotten was great in thrillers like Shadow of a Doubt. This was also billed as a great thriller, so we had high expectations (As well you should). We were sadly disappointed (Why? Were you expecting Orson Welles would come back from the dead and personally introduce the film?). We felt little emotional connection to the characters. It's hard to care about the murder of character that does not even appear in the movie before the murder (Well, surely the fact that a fellow human being is dead should stir something...). None of the characters, even Cotten's, seemed interesting (Well, Harry Lime is famed as being a dull character. Oh, no wait. No he's not.) or attractive (Yes, because they're attractiveness is crucial to the film. Could you be any shallower?). The story was just plain dull (Again, the film is renowned throughout the world as having a dull story...) and the pace dragged. Worst of all was the horrible zither music. I actually was intrigued to hear the theme music since I was told that I would be humming it for weeks (Listen to whoever told you that. Clearly they are far more intelligent than both of you put together). Little did I know that that was not a compliment, but a warning! (It's a perfectly acceptable, jaunty little tune. Why does it deserve such hatred?) I have never heard such obnoxious (The music isn't obnoxious. You're obnoxious), god-awful movie music in my life (Never watched reality TV have you...). It was totally inappropriate for the dark tone of a film noir like this (No. Actually it was perfect for the film. The contradiction between the happy music and the seedy, dark locations and story puts you ill at ease). And the same idiotic tune just kept on going throughout the film, even underneath the dialogue in many scenes (Again, the repetition was meant to make you even more uneasy). This was a total blunder (Nope. You're a total blunder. That was a good comeback...). It absolutely RUINED the impact of many scenes that might have otherwise been powerful. Far too obtrusive and distracting (I didn't find at all distracting to be honest. Not even a tiny bit). Several times when the music was loud and there was little dialogue, we muted the film. Sometimes we even muted it when there was dialogue and just turned on the subtitles. (Well, that just makes you sound ridiculous)

I think the objective of the filmmakers here was mainly to make a unique film using unorthodox or untried techniques, as a way of getting the critics' attention (Actually, they were not 'untried'. Dutch tilts have pretty much always been used. The purpose of the odd angles and camera placements was, like the music, to increase the suspense by making the viewer disorientated). It does succeed in that way, I suppose, but I think it can only be really enjoyed by film students who focus on technique instead of a story line (Or anyone else if they want an interesting story told well, in a unique way that has very strong acting). If you like a real thriller, a movie that draws you in and holds your interest, this is not the movie to watch. (It quite clearly is...)
 And here's another! I'm far too kind to all of you...:
I may rouse alot of ire here (How about you don't bother speaking then...), but somebody has to give innocents abroad fair warning about this lousy film (Oh how kind of you. You should be given a Nobel prize for this). Contrary to all the gushing reviews here, The Third Man is Orson Welles at his worst (Will you do the decent thing please, and toddle off this mortal coil?). The mysterious character, Harry Lime, when he is finally seen (after much buildup) is completely uninteresting and shallow (Well, the character was supposed to be shallow. All he cared about was money. And if you find him uninteresting then what is 'interesting'?). His trite dialog shows a character with no depth and reveals a writer with no imagination. (Lime has depth, what about his fooling both his friend and lover for years?)

And that AWFUL zither music!! This film must win the Golden Raspberry for worst soundtrack of all time! (See up there for reasons why you are an urchin in whose opinions I would put less faith than those of an amoeba)

If you are an Orson Welles fan, like myself, stay away from this film (Why would you? Surely if you were a true fan you'd want to see all of his performances, good or bad. This one's good by the way). Pretend it never existed (What a stupid thing to say). It is not a film noir except in the most amateurish sense (No. It is a film noir in every sense. It is, in fact, one of the best examples of film noir you could ever find). You want to see a great Orson Welles film noir? A Touch of Evil is the film for you. Trust me, you'll never look at Charlton Heston the same way. (Touch of Evil is, I understand, a very good film. However, I have seen The Third Man and could not overpraise it if I tried)
I think those idiots can consider themselves well and truly weeded. Till next time friends!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails