Zorba the Greek Reviews
An Englishman, Basil (played by Alan Bates), is en route to Crete where
he owns a long-disused mine. Along the way he encounters, befriends and
employs Zorba (Anthony Quinn). Once in Crete they set about trying to
get the mine operational. Basil is quite risk averse, studious and
introverted while Zorba is extroverted, gregarious, happy-go-lucky and
lives life to the fullest. Over time, Zorba's zestfulness starts to rub
off on Basil...
Starts slowly but over time the movie starts to accumulate a feel- good
factor, especially when we see Zorba's antics and Basil start to open
However, this is all ruined by two acts of sheer barbarism towards the
end, both committed by the moronic inhabitants of the village. What's
worse, both these acts are just taken as par for the course, and there
is no ultimate justice for these acts. You could understand the
imbecilic villagers feeling that way, but both Basil and Zorba continue
as if nothing had happened. What's more, the first case involves
someone quite dear to Basil.
From the point of the first atrocity, the air goes out of the movie and
this is made worse by the second act. There are some lighter moments in
the last few scenes but these can't repair the damage. What should have
been a light, happy movie, even a comedy of sorts, ends as an uneven
study in the barbaric customs and thinking of primitive people.
You couldn't have to polar opposites on screen but the charm & chemistry of the two is undeniable. Zorba is owned by the performance of Anthony Quinn that is truly once in a lifetime.
It's a film filled with passion (especially the luscious look of the film made by the Cameraman) & the perils of life. It's refreshing & a great study of two people in the unforgettable backdrop of coastal Greece. A must see classic!
It's hard to watch the old customs that condemn a widow, because she can´t love freely.