I had not seen this since I was a teenager and I was surprised by how much I remembered, most notably the simple humanity of the storytelling. It doesn't feel overly sentimental, nor is it played for shocks. Not sure the Lynchian weirdness at the beginning and end has aged all that well but all the stuff in between was brilliantly done.
One of the great tear-jerkers (not something you'd associate with Lynch's later works). Great (cost-a-lot) cast creating endearing (nice and nasty) characters in moody, misty London. Hurt superb (as ever). The creepiness is more in the attitudes of the time than in Lynch's direction - though you can see where he has been allows to indulge himself. And it has stood the test of time, as affecting now as 29 years ago.
Terrific. We should all watch this and heed its message. Loved how the editing deliberately mimicked an old style. And, at first I was unconformable with the use of Adagio for the final scene, until I told myself, this was 6 years before Platoon was made! Then it felt right. x. P.s. It it easier to spot Hurt in Hazel than Merrick, such is the incredible cosmetics.
Lynch might stick a bit too close to the straightforward script and doesn't take as many risks or indulge in narrative experiments at all (as hardly opposed to his other pictures), but he still achieves a film that combines the beauty, curiosity and the grotesque with great class. I'll have to admit that it got a little emotional for me at parts because of the melodramatic style of the film and Hurt's performance. 8
I wasn't fully prepared for how much of a lip quiver this film was going to put me through how inner beauty is seen from the inside and deformity is used as ridicule, fear and hostility. If your going into this expect the obscure Lynch feel then your going away disappointed because this is actually coherent and straight forward to follow, simple but effective in grabbing the emotional baggage of prejudice misgivings.
I did not think it was among the best films ever made as some critics have asserted, but its provocative and never panders to anyone (I'd be interested in audience reactions to its release). It is relevant, well-acted, though I think Lynch intended to paint the doctor as more sympathetic than Hopkins played it. THE best film I've seen on the subject of bullying and came way before that was an issue in the publics eye
So sad. The first scene is among my favourites of Lynch's career because I love the sound mixing. John Hurt's performance is so heart warming. The period setting feels very lived in and real. My only critique after seeing the film a few times is that it is quite slow and does not benefit from its slowness in the same way that Twin Peaks the Return does. Still, this is a Lynch film for people who might not like Lynch.
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