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."
What was Woody Allen on when he was making this film? I must admit, it's shot extremely well and he really looks like he's in some of the old footage, but the storyline is completely bonkers. It's about a human chameleon who seeks treatment for his weird condition. I really wondered what was going on while I was watching the film because it looked so real. The added commentary and interviews also made it seem really realistic but the storyline does go from one extreme to another. Watching Allen's character change into a Jew and a black person was cleverly done for a movie that was made in the 80's, but I was wondering what was Allen trying to attempt. It's shot like a documentary so there isn't much comedy but the concept is original but weird. I did stick with the movie because of the crazy storyline, but I don't know if I liked it or just thought that it was mad. Watchable!
Personally I think that this movie would have been much better if he had some top class actors in it. The scene were Zelig was sitting behind Hitler trying to get his wife's attention was impressive and Allen played his character well. When all of his wife's started to pop out of the woodwork, the moral of the story comes into play but it's still a crazy movie. It's worth a watch just to witness Zelig change into different people and to see how he cleverly put the movie together. It does seem like your watching the History channel because of the old footage, but when you see Allen's face pop up in some of the shots, you realise that it's his warped sense of humour that created such a off the wall movie.
Domestic Gross: $12million
I recommend this movie to people who are into there Woody Allen movies about human chameleon, trying to to be cured of his condition. 5/10