Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Director: David Lean
Writers:  T.E. Lawrence, Robert Bolt, Michael Wilson
Cast:       Peter O'Toole, Omar Sheriff, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn

A flamboyant and controversial military figure and his conflicted loyalties during his World War One service in the middle east.

The film is close to three and hours long and it completely justifies that because of the  complexity of its main character. I felt like watching a prequel version of Apocalypse Now (Heart of Darkness) essentially depicting character's descent into madness. Rather than the war leading him into darkness the character from the beginning itself is questionably a bit crazy. There is a hint about homosexual orientation in the character's portrayal. The fate of the Arab World portrayed rings true even now as the basic problem there is the tribal culture and warring between groups.

The film was shot mainly in Jordan, Morocco and Spain and some of the characters are amalgamation of several different characters from history. Cinematography is excellent and it is amazing to think that they were actually able to make this film in those days. It completely justified its epic status and the only minor quibble would be every character speaking English. 

Rating: 4.5/5