For some reason, I found myself sitting down and watching Woody Allen’s 1979 classic, “Manhattan”. I love me some Woody Allen, his hilarious and insightful dialogue and quirky characters (particularly his neurotic protagonist usually played by himself) just does not get old for me. I know some who hate Woody Allen, and to that I say bollocks. He’s funny AND funny looking, witty, and clever so there’s nothing to hate.
However, I did find myself a bit lost while watching Manhattan. Maybe it’s because I’ve never really spent time in New York, or the fact that I don’t know shit about the city or its people (except for the accents, oh George Costanza, you’ve taught me so much!). Maybe it’s because I’m not all that familiar with Woody Allen’s earlier work, where it’s less neurotic absurdness and more intellectual conversation about human interactions.
First off, I wasn’t too sure why the movie was in black and white? Was there a particular reason why Woody decided on this? It’s not like it was supposed to take place during the 20s or anything… Also, why does the movie center around two people who hate each other yet continue to walk around with each other until they fall in love? Wouldn’t they just choose to ignore each other? Is this exactly the reason I didn’t ‘get it’? It makes no sense!
I found myself spending more time waiting for something to happen rather than chuckling and thinking to myself “hmm, interesting”. With the many references to then-current pop and New York personalities, maybe a lot of the comedy was lost to our young ears.
From a film making point of view, I appreciated Woody Allen’s fantastic way of driving a movie purely on dialogue. With the move set in black and white, and the only impressive shot is that one found on the poster (the bridge and bench), this movie did keep me watching purely based on the fast-paced snappy dialogue that man is a master at crafting. So if you’re in the mood to see a movie that’s well written, and like movies about strange and broken relationships, go ahead and watch it. If you think I totally missed something here, enlighten me in the comments why don’t ya?