For Reel

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
April 12, 2011, 11:21 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Arthur Penn

While historically important for its graphic violence, Bonnie and Clyde is far removed from the similarly violent movies of today. The film’s biggest successes are in its quiet moments, of which there are many – the picnics, the bedrooms, the car rides. Like the films that would follow by Dennis Hopper and Bob Rafelson, the film incorporates a similar cynicism regarding the government and the law, depicting the titular criminals as vigilantes not unlike Robin Hood. It is not a glorification of the lifestyle, however, as this is a film of pure hopelessness. The “good” people we see in the film – the family who has been evicted from their home in the beginning of the picture, for example – go unthanked for their civility. Bonnie and Clyde, while trying to let on to the media that they’re worthy of their folk hero personae , never seem to embrace their image when they aren’t promoting it. As much as they represent a violent form of liberty, the irony is that they are just as doomed as the populous whom they so extensively impress.

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