It’s A Wonderful Film

Christmas brings forth many memories, I’m sure, but the underlying feeling in each is a sense of joy which knows no limit. And Frank Capra captured this essence , and presented it beautifully in It’s A Wonderful Life. To the critically endangered group who has not yet seen this, I insist that you get yourself a colourized version right now (For what is Christmas without colour?).

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It is one of those films which has no spectacular action sequence, no innovative camera technique, no encrypted symbols or meanings, but has a simple heart-warming story with some decent acting, which is so hard to find. It’s everything that a family film should be, but sadly, they don’t make movies like these anymore… The only reason it didn’t win an Oscar and didn’t fare too well in the box office was because it was released right after The Best Years of Our Lives.

The acting, as I mentioned, is the kind which has become virtually extinct. It is not ‘subtle’ I suppose, nor do the actors ‘become one with the character’. Instead we see simple honest acting, and I stress on simple, which describes every aspect of this film. And it is that what makes it so enjoyable, it doesn’t try to bite off more than it can chew, and tells its small, predictable story through straightforward acting aided by clean, smooth directing.

Surprisingly, this plain old film contributed to the film industry, and complying with its Christmas theme, the contribution was a new type of ‘snow’. Haha, that’s right, Frank Capra used foamite for snow instead of traditional corn flakes so that he could record the sound live. Other than that, the movie also gives us plenty of memorable characters; the undying hero George Bailey, the beautiful girlfriend Mary Hatch, the angelic daughter Karolyn Grimes, being the most memorable three. However the villain, Henry F Potter shouldn’t be forgotten. No, he’s not an evil mastermind hell-bent on destroying our hero and ultimately the world. He is neither cruel and perverse, nor is he a psycho on a killing spree. He is representative of the cunning businessmen, exercising monopoly at the cost of poor men’s livelihoods. A perfect misanthrope, he wants to enslave the townsfolk, which he’d have, if not for Jimmy Stewart. Who brings us to other theme, that of the American dream – A land of opportunities, a home, and a family to love. This quality, his faith in the dream, makes our hero even more admirable.

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I feel it’s too simple a movie to give a proper review, and I can only think of it as chicken soup for the burdened soul, asking you to take notice of the important things in life that you ignore and take for granted. What you can expect is some very convincing performances (even from Jimmy the Crow), a jaw dropping-ly stunning Donna Reed and the usual good-humoured J. Stewart, and a painfully wide grin at the closing scene.

Oh, and bring a bell with you when you sit down to see it, you just might need it at the end!

il buono

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