Wednesday, 19 March 2014

More Marx Madness

Saw my second Marx Brothers feature on the big screen today - A Night at the Opera. It was eerily like watching a Tamil masala movie (not sure if other Indian language films do this as well). Only in our masala movies, what could have been a perfectly good drama/romance/whatever is rudely interrupted by an unnecessary and jarring comedy track, while here it was the other way around.

The Marx Brothers were brilliant, even more so than in Duck Soup in places, but their hilarious, rip-roaring (I was seriously laughing so loud, but I didn't feel awkward this time thanks to everyone else in the audience also joining in) awesomeness was awkwardly broken up by this completely bland, boring and oh-so-badly acted romance plot. Seriously, even I, with my fanning-only dramatic skills, can do better than the "lead" couple in this movie. And my cat staring boredly at the camera would have more screen presence that these two with their vacuous expressions.

And those songs! Ugh. Almost yelled at the screen a couple of times asking them to shut the fuck up and get the brothers back on screen already. Managed to restrain myself with a great effort and satisfied myself with pulling faces in the dark instead.

The only musical piece I enjoyed was Chico and Harpo's piano and harp bit after the token item/hero song (they seriously showed a random shot of a woman's undies, because hey, why not) in the ship. Chico's piano playing was such a treat to watch. I was as memerised as those children were. Never have I enjoyed watching someone play the piano so much. Harpo's harp (!) piece, on the other hand, quite took me by surprise. It was such a beautiful rendition. He's always the clown - right before going to the harp he takes over the piano from Chico and does a zany bit - so I wasn't expecting him to play something so moving. He does make crazy eyes for a bit in the middle, his playing is still on point.

The comedy, like I said before, was ridiculous and absurd and amazingly funny. Groucho seemed to have fewer puns this time around. Or at least, they weren't coming at jet speed like in Duck Soup. He kills it in that cabin scene though. "Two boiled eggs. Make that three."

Give them a thousand boiled eggs, for crying out loud. They deserve that and more. These guys were so freaking talented. I am officially a fan. 

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