Monday, January 18, 2010

DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)

‘Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the war room!’

Witness the height of political stupidity with visionary touch of Kubrick! The movie was a cautionary tale made in the backdrop of cynical cold war period between US & Russia when both of them threatening and challenging each other with ultimate nuclear weapon made for doomsday for irreparable annihilation. Political satire has never been so full of wit where dimwitted and whimsical commanding officers passing half instructions; Kubrick mocked US military’s blind run to raise upper hand. How crazy, wild and lunatic one becomes under ill conditioning is explained by General Jack Ripper here and it’s indeed a great mockery of human absurdity. It’s fine satire gaping at the critical side of the blind rat race in the name of progress between two countries, whether its space race, arms race or so called peace race.

“Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of enemy the fear to attack. Top secrets are made to share with the world in all possible loud announcements,” claimed Dr.Strangelove. What bigger irony is required when soldiers of same country are shooting bullets under a great blunder especially in a place where big hoarding shouts with bold letters- ‘Peace is our profession’? Irony also suffused at all critical moments in the film such as when Mandrake insisting the officer to shoot the lock of Coca cola machine to have loose coins while contacting President from phone booth and that’s where gun was shot purposefully for the first time in entire film.

Like any other Kubrick film it is matchless classic on almost all parts. Outstanding black & white cinematography, fine caricatured characterization whether it’s George C Scott as chewing gum obsessed US General Turgidson or Sterling Hayden as psychotic General Jack D Ripper and above all wonderful Peter Sellers!!! He is just unbelievable to recognize in all triple roles as US president, officer in aid Mandrake and bizarre Dr. Strangelove himself. It’s great makeover of one actor in three different roles with absolutely fine acts in all three. The funniest moment is where he’s convincing Russian president on hotline!

There comes a situation where man becomes paralyzed by his own invented science. Nuclear bomb is one of them. Overdependence on science lead us again back to animal stage. Kubrick highlighted same point in 2001 too. In this film Kubrick highlighted ‘human failure to communicate’ in all possible extremes whether its US president’s monologue to convince Russian one, between Mandrake and Ripper or the crew on bombing plane. Men have invented path breaking means of communication from cell phones to internet today and yet we still have to learn the basics of meaningful communication!

A superb dark comedy stuffed with fine satire and timeless performances.

1 comment:

prabhat said...

i was waiting for this review for over a couple of months, i watched the movie, but couldnt found why they titled it "strangelove"