Very original film from master writer-director Woody Allen. The 1980s were a very creative period for Allen, including venturing into more dramatic areas. Long gone were the absurdist (yet very funny) comedies of the early 70s. Zelig is a bit of a throwback to that period, with a wonderfully ridiculous central plot and some hilarious jokes.
While over-the-top, the plot is actually very plausible doesn't fall apart, remaining solid to the end. Being presented as a documentary helps the plausibility.
Reveling in its absurdity the movie has a great momentum and energy. The documentary format presents Allen with scores of opportunities to demonstrate his editing and cinematographic skills, editing Zelig (ie himself) into newsreels with famous people as well as constructing very plausible "footage" of Zelig at famous events.
One of Woody Allen's greatest movies, and that says a lot.
He attempts to make a strong point about the court of public opinion and the power of the press, which feels slightly forced, but what works is everyone's fear of not 'fitting in.' Most interesting when Zelig is alone he is completely devoid of personality because he has no one to work blend in with. An interesting, short movie that's most notable for it's ability to impose Allen's image on old footage in the pre-computer filmmaking era.
Leonard Zelig has a special talent where he is able to turn into anyone he comes in company with. If he is around Native Americans, he can turn into a Native American, same for other nationalities. Due to his internationally recognized talent, he gets to meet hundreds of famous individuals; however, due to lost memory due to some of his episodes, some chance meetings go better than others.
"The neighbors beat our family. The neighbors down the block beat our neighbors and our family."
Woody Allen, director of Midnight in Paris, Manhattan, Alice, September, Small Time Crooks, Annie Hall, Match Point, Shadows and Fog, and The Purple Rose of Cairo, delivers Zelig. The storyline for this picture is interesting and reminded me very much of Forest Gump. The character and interactions were interesting as was the filming style. The cast delivers above average performances and includes Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, and Patrick Horgan as the narrator.
"The bull gives himself a brain concussion."
I grabbed this off Netflix as another Allen movie I had never seen but was highly reviewed on both rottentomatoes and Netflix. I found the film interesting and well thought-out, I do wonder how much of the idea of Forest Gump came from this film (they were very similar). Overall, this is a nice addition to the genre, was a bit choppy in parts, but is definitely worth a viewing.
"Guilt related masturbation."