Friday, March 4, 2016

Barry Lyndon

Barry Lyndon is a flawless film on the technical side of things. The cinematography, the costumes, and the production design are all immaculate. The story itself should be interesting in its focus of this conman making his way up through schemes and his personal charm. The problem is two fold, though in the end could have been solved by fixing only one side. As one would expect Kubrick is cold and clinical in his style. This usually works in his films as the emotions come from the performances. The problem is the emotional center should be Barry, but the problem is he's played the vapid Ryan O'Neal. There's no reason to believe he could charm or trick anyone as he seems quite happy to be just part of the scenery. He keeps the story from being engaging because he seems as detached as Kubrick is. Now this is not say the whole film does not work. Marisa Berenson and Leon Vitali do provide some emotional elements to the film, but neither are in the film enough to make up for O'Neal. There are still some exceptional sequences in there, the final dueling scene in particular, but the strengths cannot fully outweigh its fundamental flaws.

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