Beautifully filmed in black and white David Lynch tell us with this film that most people will not learn anything but stand squeamish and react badly when watching a man with a psychical disfigurement - without ever understanding the heart inside the bodily prison. Lynch who can see beauty even in the most grotesque and macabre finds it and in turn give John Hurt one of his most memorable roles.
This powerful movie portraying the effects of dehumanisation, is one of the saddest movies I know. Lynch provides no easy solace to the audience either, as we can see how both the lower and upper class exploits John Merrick for their own benefit. But John doesn’t see it that way. Being subjected to hardships his entire life, the new glimmers of kindness makes him reclaim his humanity and discover the self.
If it can be said to have a trick to it, it is that 'The Elephant Man' looks like a horror film, but the object of horror is never, ever the man of the title. Perhaps Lynch takes his cue from Browning's 'Freaks' here but 'Freaks', though a powerful film, isn't quite as committed in its humanism. 'The Elephant Man' is a big part of why I still trust Lynch when it seems like he is veering into insincerity in later work
D'une grande linéarité, extrêmement moralisateur, le film de Lynch a mal vieillit. Sa soi-disant violence psychologique s'avère très convenue. Et même la réalisation, malgré son esthétisme, se révèle plate et ennuyeuse. L'ensemble est devenu extrêmement gnangnan, prévisible et manichéen. On s'ennuie ferme. Mais où est le chef-d'oeuvre tant annoncé ?
The beginning, where everyone despises Merrick, and the ending, where the whole world seems to greet him seemed part of a silly Hollywood fable to me. But between those I found scenes that touched me. Seeing Merrick doing the effort of overcoming his ugliness, and on the other side people doing the reciprocal effort too... when both connect I could cry. I didn't think Lynch's glimpses of style fit well here.
The young David Lynch does a studio movie, with only a few real Lynchian moments. Very watchable and atmospheric. It does however portray all the upper class people as kind hearted, and most of the working class people as mean-spirited, but the English class society in Victorian times isn't really the main subject.
Quando la mera curiosità umana per i fenomeni da baraccone viene mascherata da interesse scientifico, ecco che arriva alle luci della ribalta l'Uomo Elefante. Lynch indossa i panni di un triste cantastorie mentre, tramite la sua magistrale regia, ci racconta di una delle vicende realmente accadute più tristi della storia del cinema.
Lynch makes me forget about time and space...I catch myself wondering if I'm really watching a film shot in 1980. What a genius! One of my favourites and always a good lesson due to the sensitive nature of a man that has only been mistreated and terribly harmed. Hurt gave an amazing performance!