More a social commentary than a comedy to be honest, but it is an important comment on child wellfare, poverty and women who leave their children on the doorstep of others. Chaplin is completely overshadowed by the kid too who charms and warms the viewer in every single scene.
One of the great Chaplin movies which may lack the most socially biting satire of 'City Lights' or 'Modern Times', yet moves with its playful resourcefulness, bringing Chaplin close to the kid. What unites both is divergent thinking one that eschews the linear patterns of adults and builds creative problem-solving processes. These suffuse, as expected, this melodrama which culminates in a funny scene among angels.
You get the sense that Chaplin's films had a big influence on Looney Tunes. I'm not sure this one entirely holds up. There are some very touching moments- and the dream sequence with the angels was clever. But the poverty of this film's depiction of its era doesn't feel like the poverty of today. (Chaplin's later film, modern times, feels a bit more "modern").
The melodrama and hurried ending make this less effective than some of his shorts thus far, but maybe even more impressive for what's happening behind the camera - construction of the Hollywood mirage. An unprepared child star, ruling star presence, bitter disputes, grooming by those in power. And on screen work so magical that we might forgive the high cost of its existence.
This one is just so beautiful. This is a film that is both extremely hilarious and poignant at the same time. As most of Chaplin's work is. The balance between sad and funny is meticulously arranged with the melancholic score. Which was also composed by Chaplin himself by the way. Sometimes, it is the most simple stories that affects you the most. This is the case here. A masterpiece.
This film reminds me of my childhood in ways. Not because of all the poverty and debatable child abuse, but because of the imagery and feel of the piece. Chaplin may have the warmest sensibility in cinema. However overwrought it may be to today’s standards it is still wonderfully powerful emotion that shines through, and you never get the sense that the little tramp is faking any of it.