Zorba the Greek (2005)
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Critic Reviews for Zorba the Greek
The serious critique in Zorba attends the tragic elements in the story
Audience Reviews for Zorba the Greek
Zorba: Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You've got everthing except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else...
Basil: Or else?
Zorba: ...he never dares cut the rope and be free.
A solid film centering on two men. One playing it straight, the other a larger than life character who gives this film the right kind of energy every time he is on screen. Well made, with a great soundtrack.
An aimless Englishman, Basil, played by Alan Bates, finds he has a small inheritance on the Greek island of Crete. His joyless existence is disturbed when he meets Zorba, played by Anthony Quinn, a middle aged Greek with a real lust for life. As he discovers the earthy pleasures of Greece, the Englishman finds his view on life changing. Other adventures occur, including the pursuit of love for both men and the construction of crazy contraptions.
Basically, Anthony Quinn owns this film. Every time he is around, I love everything that is going on. His character provides laughs, a sense of adventure, and other endearing qualities that kept me entertained. Plus he's a damn good dancer. The other actors do a solid job in the film as well.
Taking place in Crete, and actually having been filmed there, this is a very good looking film as well. It certainly captures the surroundings quite well, while giving a specific portrayal of this Greek society.
The other great element of this film was its score. I've heard its key tune many times before, but here it is perfectly mixed into the story. As this film mixes some more light-hearted moments with much darker dramatic material, it was great to have a Greek-themed musical vibe running throughout, which helped keep me engaged.
While the film does run a bit long, it still had plenty of well accomplished elements to make it worthwhile.
Basil: I don't want any trouble.
Zorba: Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble.
A much darker film than I expected it to be. Anthony Quinn's energetic and charismatic Zorba seems almost out of place amidst a cast of cowardly, vengeful, parasitic villagers who always seem to linger ominously in the background. Ultimately, Zorba the Greek is an uplifting film, but it will route you through a few valleys before it reaches the mountaintop.
When Zorba's son dies, everyone else cries. Zorba? He dances. If Quinn had only done one film, this film, his contribution to the history of movies would have been enormous and his place in that history assured. Life, death, comedy, tragedy, love, hate, nastiness, compassion . . . this movie encompasses every aspect of existence. I'm not sure if Bates and Quinn ever did another movie together, but what great chemistry. To live life no matter what may come, the "philosophy" behind this movie, makes more and more sense the older you get. And when all else fails, eat, drink, laugh, and dance . . .
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