Woody Allen – Attempting (not) to glorify the popular notion of a hero on a screen


Recently I had a chance to watch three different movies by Woody Allen- Annie Hall, Manhattan Murder Mystery and Whatever Works. In the first two movies he had acted as well. After watching these movies I have no reservation in admitting that I really liked his treatment of the stories. He sort of demystifies the idea of a hero on the screen. In Manhattan Murder Mystery, he plays the character of a guy who is full of anxiety, someone who refrains from being adventurous. On the contrary the wife of this character is full of adventure and dare. She is the one who would try revealing truth behind a murder. She is the one who would walk a mile extra than her husband to try out a spy plan. In any such situation, the character which Woody Allen plays had no option other than to follow his wife. But he does so with great anxiety, often to an extent of breaking the silence and breaking up the articles.

One other thing which I would like to make a mention of is his attempt to break the frame and talk to the audience. One can see him talking to the viewer of his movie when he is having dinner at his girlfriend’s house in AnnieĀ  Hall. His does this more often as a director in Whatever Works. I guess as a strategy this works very well in case of movies where the characters are constantly engaged in talks and discussion amongst themselves. A viewer, if ever, feels disinterested has something to grab whenever one of the characters disengages with the inner world of cinema and talks to him. Frankly I felt the same in the initial time. But suddenly with one of the character talking to you, enables the viewer to reorient himself. Isn’t it amazing!


Movies to watch

Godard’s Les Carabiniers 1963

Chris Marker’s Si j’avais quatre dromadaires 1966

Buena Vista Social Club 1999

Au Hazard Balthazar 1996

Old Boy 2003

The Great Indian Butterfly 2007

Waltz with Bashir 2008

Nero’s Guest