A Clockwork Orange (1971) 4.62/5 (3)


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Rating: The Good – 93.1
Genre: Crime
Duration: 136 mins
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates

Stanley Kubrick’s delicious take on Anthony Burgess’ futuristic novel takes place in a time when Britain is overrun with disaffected youths with a taste for the old ultraviolence. The central character Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is the epitome of this youth terror and the film follows his antics which ultimately see him being sent to prison for behaviour correction. A Clockwork Orange is a lyrical delight and it is the monologue and dialogue more than anything else that sweep you through a film that is so darkly counterpointed by Kubrick’s superb vision of desolation. And that is the true genius of what Kubrick did here. A Clockwork Orange is a masterclass in inaccessible horror, where fear is replaced by deep discomfort and where the world the audience is being exposed to is so conceptually alien and unnatural that it feels wrong on an intuitive, visceral, deeply psychological level. Creating such a world is an awesome achievement and not many are capable of doing it. David Lynch did it in Dune, Mulholland Dr., and Eraserhead while Cronenberg managed it to lesser extents in Scanners, Videodrome, and eXistenZ. However, none have done it so completely as Kubrick did here and in managing to counterpoint it with the hypnotic dialogue and personality of the Alex, he actually draws you increasingly closer towards his inaccessible conceptual landscape when most of the other aforementioned films push you away. It’s an genuinely uncomfortable experience and another monument in the career of what must be, pound-for-pound, the most talented director the medium has ever known.

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