Stanley Kubrick’s Dr.Strangelove follows a psychopath army general Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden) who thinks the Russians are hatching an international conspiracy to pollute precious body fluids and therefore orders an air strike on Russia. Then we follow the plot into the War Room where the President of United States of America (Peter Sellers) and his associates try to handle the situation with the help of the Russian ambassador while a crew of B-52 bomber headed by Captain Kong (Slim Pickens) stop at no cost to bomb any one of the targets in Russia.
To get the whole essence of the movie, you have to be really knowledgeable about Cold War. I love this stuff because I am a history buff, and that helped me get the essence of it, but not entirely I admit. Like every time you read about Cold War and re watch this movie, you love it even more. Dr.Strangelove is wacky and hilarious ride. Stanley Kubrick’s only entry in the comedy genre is the definitive satire of the satire genre. It is a work of genius right from the start to the end.
I once wrote an article upon how to identify a classic and I specified that many people disregard comedies as classics. This movie proves my point that a comedy can be a hell of a classic. I love over-the-top performances by actors when the scenario is of turmoil. And that is exactly what we get with George O Scott roaring uproariously with vigour and fury against U.S.S.R. and Peter Sellers’ hilarious interpretation of the diagnostic apraxia into a satirical take on the Third Reich Salute.
The script is work of genius. Entire hate against the U.S.S.R is accumulated in a kinetic explosion of hilarious dialogues which leaves the logic out of the ball-park yet is a commentatory of the banality at which U.S.A perceived each action of the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War and vice versa. And the thing is that it never takes sides, it does not determine which side is right or wrong, especially signified by the friendship between the President and the Premier.
Another factor which makes this movie great is the performances. George O Scott is just fabulous. Man, he deserved Best Actor nomination for this ! Just completely over-the-top. Loved it. But, Peter Sellers deserved a win in that category. It is so hard to get into a single character. But this guy portrays each of his three characters with such flair they each form their own identity. In many double-roles I have seen actors give performances in which the characters are indistinguishable but Sellers helms three at a time yet I wasn’t able to figure out that it was him in those three roles until I checked the Wikipedia page.
The effects of the plane flying may look silly now, but that just adds to the humour. The War Room is beautifully constructed and the lighting work is fabulous and the score which is seldom used is stupendous as well.
My favourite scene is a shot in which George Scott is appealing to the President that ‘The so-called Doomsday Machine is just a scam if the Commies’ and he falls, but he rolls over and points to the Big Board. It is a moment of certain flair. The climax conveys the message that if this hatred exists within ourselves, we are all our way to doom. A classic is like wine, it stands the test of time and only gets better with time. I laughed my guts out and enjoyed every millisecond of this 1964 motion picture which exactly as old as my father.
Dr. Strangelove is the king of satires, a jewel for film-lovers and Kubrick’s masterpiece which is a hilarious take on the Cold War and the mentality of the U.S.A and U.S.S.R individuals towards each other. In short, hell of a movie.
Rating : 9.3 / 10
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