White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Cognition of a vocal Charlie Chaplin

Last night we went to a one-actor play which was about Charlie Chaplin and the time period that he was making The Great Dictator. Despite the fact that both the director and the actor did a superb job, but I couldn't enjoy the play at all. Since the first minute there was something truly strange for me and that was a vocal Chaplin which was not something that my mind could take. I hade seen couple of vocal movies by Chaplin (Lime Light & Monsieur Verdoux, and also the last sequence of the Great Dictator where he makes his wonderful speech are all vocal, but in none of them Charlie has his typical tramp role). But still for me Charlie cognotively is recorded as a silent genius of Cinema and as good as they try to portray him in a different vocal setup, it is difficult to cognitively tune with it. So I guess I should avoid any vocal portray of him after this.

Talking about Charlie, I am very surprised and some how disappointed to see he's not that much known and respected in US (Specially among people of my age). Even I have heard odd statements from smart friends like: "Chaplin is not funny", "His movies are not really comedy"!
Some people say because of his leftist view and Mc-Carthyism era, media still downplay him here, but I can't buy that. There are plenty of artists and intellectuals who have had (or currently have) leftist views and have a great level of respect and fame here. Even I have seen some how more respect for some of the icon geniuses of Soviet cinema like Sergei Eisenstein than for Charlie.

Tonight I went back to Charlie's wonderful closing speech at the end of The Great Dictator:

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

You can read the full text of his speech here.
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