Film lovers should already be familiar with the name of Charlie Chaplin considering the huge impact he has laid upon the comedy genre over the years. Richard Attenborough’s biopic comes along the same veins where his Oscar-winning Gandhi has come from and although not nearly as long, it’s in part an entertaining one but at the same time too by-the-numbers for its own good, which is the last thing I’d even want for a film about Chaplin. I don’t wish to dismiss Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin as the sort of film that does present itself as a disservice towards Chaplin’s legacy because in part it feels like it can excellently recreate that joy, although there’s another degree to where I’m not even sure what Attenborough intended his viewers to make of the life of the man behind the Tramp himself. What may have worked for Gandhi didn’t transfer well for a tale about Chaplin.
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It was only fitting that Charlie Chaplin could have been around to make a film during Hitler’s reign of Germany that outright mocks his regime in order to expose a harsher reality and teach his audiences an important lesson about humanity. From here onward, Chaplin had become no stranger to politics and even put his own popularity at risk although the satire that The Great Dictator has presented still remains frighteningly relevant even today, for even though the film had made a name for itself on the count of its depiction of Hitler’s regime there’s a universal message lingering all throughout that only calls for it to be seen even by today’s audiences. But of all the films in his body of work that had to allow Chaplin to shift from making silent films to talkies, it was only fitting that The Great Dictator was that one. Not only is it a work of comedic genius but it speaks many lessons still necessary today.
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