Monday, March 29, 2010

Favorite Final Shots: Modern Times

Modern Times marked the final film in which Charlie Chaplin played his signature character of the Tramp. It’s a magnificent send-off for the little guy as he struggles against, well, modern times. Chaplin was a master of social commentary and this film certainly doesn’t hold back. Here he takes on the mechanical age and its dehumanizing effect as machines take over jobs and generally give the Tramp a tough time. But, along the way he finds a kindred spirit in a girl simply referred to as the Gamin who struggles along in society as well. By the film’s end, the pair have failed at integrating into society and are on their own in the world. Although down on their luck, the Tramp and the Gamin resolve to continue onward, determined to discover what’s around the bend. The sense of hope portrayed in this moment is perfectly captured as the two walk down the road, off to live their lives as best they can. It's a beautiful picture.

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