Woody Allen- The Wacky Wizard
There is so much that one can argue about Woody Allen. His nerdy appearance suggests that he is an intellectual and it was the man who himself quoted famously 'I am not an intellectual but I have this look'. For nearly 50 years, he has been the most charismatic comedian to go wild over the large screen ever since the frolicsome Charlie Chaplin burst on the screen with his inimitable comic style. As a director of absurd yet hilarious screen comedies and avant-garde romances, he is nevertheless known for his low-key style. Yet, one thing is something we all agree on. He is a man who makes us smile.
He started as a stand-up comedian in the 1950s and he became famous with his nearly endless collection of jokes and monologues aimed at his own pratfalls. And ever since then, we have been given a man who has never been afraid at poking fun at his own eccentricities and incongruities. Here is a man who admits in the opening scene of his 1977 screen classic 'Annie Hall' that he may become the' balding, virile type, instead of the distinguished grey'. Indeed, as a man of incorrigible humor and reckless wit, he has never fallen short of surprising us with each of his film to hit the theaters.
His first film as director, the unashamedly ribald yet hilarious 'What's up Tiger Lily?' gave us his taste for clever and outspoken dialogue amidst in-your-face gimmicks and gags that would keep the audiences rolling down the aisles. His stories. Be it the sparkly and spunky urban romance of 'Annie Hall' or the twisted relationships in 'Manhattan' are the stuff of feel-good cinema, helmed with the trademark display of wit and sarcasm yet being heartwarming. Yet, he has also donned darkly comic and wicked roles and themes. most notably as the master of disguise in the bleak and sobering 'Zelig'.
As a director he is as much as a part of America's filmmaking revolution of the 60s and 70s. But while other directors have consciously made their artistic influences obvious, Allen has continuously maintained his spare and simplistic yet snappy and urban style intact. He has to be one of the few filmmakers who lavishes a great enthusiasm in writing more than merely directing them. From dark stories of crimes gone wrong to socially inadequate personalities desperate for romance and social acceptance and from racy sex comedies oozing with wit to breezy romantic comedies, Allen's wide, versatile and instantly conversational writing has won him the honor of being one of the most acclaimed writers and directors ever, from Las Vegas to Tokyo and Moscow.
There is so much to admire in his films, like the butter-fingered antics in 'Take The Money and Run' or the obsessive neurosis in his other films exposing his talents as a great actor as well. Today, Woody Allen holds the record for the most Oscars won for his charismatic work as a writer. But if you would ask me about what really makes his film worthwhile it is how life-like it all seems. With stunning cityscapes and streets folding in with intricately plotted comedies, everything comes alive in Woody Allen's raunchy yet generously compassionate stories of love, humor, hope, despair and life.