Monday, February 9, 2015

Harold and Maude (1971)

Director: Hal Ashby
Writer:    Colin Higgins
Cast:       Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles

Young, rich and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral. Harold's mother with her bourgeoisie lifestyle don't take much effort in understanding Harold and he likes to fake his own death in return. It is not the kind where the kid is trying to get attention. Maude very much has the hippie like lifestyle and thinking when it comes to liberty, authority and attitude. She has a set of keys that her carjacking husband left her with which she uses to take rides in whatever vehicle that she finds fancy. Both Harold and Maude like Hearses very much.

It must have caused a stir when it got released because of the romantic angle of the story between the teenager Harold and the 79 year old Maude. I guess it would have been edgy even for today's audience as well. I very much felt like how I felt when watching 'The Graduate'- must have been great when it got released but haven't aged that gracefully. All this hippie sort of outlook has become very cliched by now but it really shouldn't be used to find fault with this film considering that it got released in Nixon America. It is a very good watch without being all that great and the melancholic music is again something we have got very used to. 

It didn't do well either commercially or critically when it got released but developed a cult following gradually over the years. I suspect it must have influenced directors like Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach in terms of their style and quirkiness. I guess one can watch it if you are fans of those directors to see what must have been a landmark film for them.

Rating: 3.5/5