Directed by Sir Richard Attenborough and starring Robert Downey Jr and an extraordinary cast 'Chaplin' is a loving grand-scale portrait of the Little Tramp's amazing life and times. His poverty-stricken childhood in England comes to life along with his friendships with Mack Sennett (Dan Aykroyd) and Douglas Fairbanks (Kevin Kline) his many wives and scandalous affairs and his relentless pursuit by J. Edgar Hoover. Chaplin is the larger-than-life story of the actor behind the icon and a stunning depiction of a bygone era when Hollywood was at its most glamorous.
The bowler hat,the thin cane which seemed to defy laws of physics in being flexed to the limit and back again, the small, thick moustache, a suit riddled with dust and holes and of course, the walk; a simple rolling strolling motion, the cane being twirled around a free-swinging hand. Robert Downey Jr would certainly have faced a challenge in merely portraying Charlie Chaplin in this guise, as his most famous creation - that of "The Tramp". But this film goes further, to tell something of the life of the man behind the costume, is something for which we can be grateful, and relish. Told through the eyes of an elderly Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, recounting episodes of his life for the benefit of the publisher of his autobiography, the film gives those of us born after Chaplin's time, a refreshingly keen insight into the life of the man behind the silent mask. Richard Attenborough skilfully directs us on a journey from impoverished East-End slum and the care of a mentally unstable mother, through the first tentative appearances in front of the camera in silent movies, to the dizzying heights of superstardom and the founding of United Artists. He courts controversy along the way, in particular, Chaplin's open distain for the Nazi regime, later mercilessly mocked in "The Great Dictator". We are taken through the maelstrom of euphoria, of self-doubt, the longing for artistic integrity and the all-consuming "workaholism" that led to some of the darkest and bravest choices in his personal and professional lives, respectively. Chaplin himself, said "If you want to understand me, watch my movies." I would tentatively suggest that Attenborough's homage to this icon of cinema be included in that number.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play Robert Downey Jr takes the lead role in this biopic of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, which traces his entire career from poverty stricken childhood all the way through to final Swiss exile and lifetime Oscar recognition. Along the way there were four marriages, troubles with the US government, and a phenomenally successful film career. Directed by Richard Attenborough. Age Rating 15
Robert Downey Jr takes the lead role in this biopic of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, which traces his entire career from poverty stricken childhood all the way through to final Swiss exile and lifetime Oscar recognition. Along the way there were four marriages, troubles with the US government, and a phenomenally successful film career. Directed by Richard Attenborough.