He was a man who helped create the movies and their ever-lasting impact as entertainment and art. He was at once the world‚??s most popular star, and still is as recognisable as he was in his prime. He came from nothing and left a legend. A true giant of cinema. This was of course Charlie Chaplin, an actor so important to cinema Richard Attenborough 1992 film Chaplin should be watched for simply a taste of who this man was. The first hour of Chaplin is purely mesmerising as we witness the inherent talent of our protagonist and the creation of the Tramp character. The reason it is such a delight to watch is because knowing the history of joy he has brought to the world leaves us in awe of his beginnings. And also the state of filmmaking as a new medium for everyone is interestingly explored, showing the magic of film, editing and the conditions silent films were made in. He provided a platform for the advent of talkies by popularising film to every corner of Earth, and the gravitas of his accomplishments are felt even in our present, something the original King of Hollywood Douglas Fairbanks and America‚??s sweetheart Mary Pickford cannot even hope to realise. But what elevates Chaplin‚??s opening is the stark impact of his poor upbringing on his personality and desire. Chaplin‚??s own daughter Geraldine plays her grandmother here with such disturbance, she elevates the entirety of Chaplin‚??s childhood to the point where it bears great influence on his existence. And that existence somewhat loses its way towards the end as it gets quite convoluted considering Chaplin‚??s varied, more controversial later life. To spend merely an hour on perhaps 50 years of Chaplin‚??s later life is barely feasible and so as the film tries to cram as much as they can into it, the spark of the opening becomes lost even if we still remain fascinated, possibly because the point of focus ceases to be his film career anymore, it is overcome by his stout political views that dictate his films and mood. Unlike Gandhi, Attenborough‚??s other biopic of a larger than life figure, Chaplin isn‚??t given a 3 hour running time, something that would have made this film as good. If it were slightly longer, Attenborough wouldn‚??t have needed to dramatize Chaplin‚??s life more than it already is because he was born out of creativity, and so should have utilised his vast career better because he is worthy of a three-hour investigation. To want someone who isn‚??t Chaplin playing Chaplin for even longer is testament to how much Robert Downey Jr. is an utter marvel. He may look terrifying once he gets older thanks to his lack of visible eyebrows, but Downey exquisitely recreates the special ingredients of the Tramp‚??s performance. Downey‚??s performance is so good the final scene of Chaplin receiving his honorary Academy Award whilst viewing the actual Chaplin in action is proof to his brilliance. It may get too sentimental, but his return to Hollywood with a 12-minute standing ovation by his peers results in a heartfelt tearing up, moulding Chaplin into a story of escapism for someone who abandoned his insane mother at a young age and went onto immerse himself in Hollywood, and that success hit him all at once, making his realisation our realisation of greatness.
Robert Downey Jr. masterfully immerses himself into a cinematic icon, and the results are astonishing for Chaplin as a film gets to the heart of his undeniable brilliance and influence.