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any good movies lately?
and recommend it.
in pseudo-documentary style, A Hard Day’s Night tells the
fictional story of a “typical” day in the life of four young pop
stars: The Beatles. Beatle-mania has hit Britain in full force, and
John, Paul, George and Ringo can’t step outside for a second without
hordes of screaming, crying young girls chasing them down. The day
begins as the four are herded onto a train, en route to a live
performance that’ll take place on television later that afternoon.
Hampered by the presence of Paul’s trouble-stirring, manipulative,
oddball grandfather, and by the fact that they’re constantly being
recognized and mobbed wherever they go, the band copes with ridiculous
interviewers at a press conference, a high-strung stage manager, as well
as other handlers hell-bent on reigning in the mischievous, irreverent,
and completely irrepressible young Beatles.
a cold, cold soul if you can resist the infectious charm of The Beatles
in their first film, A Hard Day’s Night. From the movie’s
memorable madcap-frenetic opening scene, in which we watch the
adorably-mop-topped, sharply dressed foursome running through the city
streets with a horde of lovesick fans hot on their heels, A Hard
Day’s Night just begs you to smile, sing along, and debate over
which of the fab four is your personal favorite. Director Richard
Lester’s decision to shoot much of the film in cinema verité
style perfectly captures the ambience of the early 1960s, while at the
same time giving it a timeless, fresh feel that makes you almost forget
the sad fact that two of the exhilaratingly alive Beatles you see
on-screen are no longer, actually, alive. Whereas today’s pop stars cum
talentless movie star wannabes seem to feel the need to pretend to act,
the Beatles are able to come off as completely, winningly natural in
their first film foray precisely because they’re simply playing
exaggerated versions of themselves. (Though, as the DVD’s extras
reveal, the images that were to arise for each Beatle as a result of the
movie weren’t entirely true to who the Beatles really were – in real
life, apparently, one wouldn’t have been able to so neatly pigeonhole
John as the brilliant one, Paul as the cute one, George as the quiet
one, Ringo as the lovably under-appreciated one – it’s a wonderful
thing the way that the film manages to at least make you feel like
you’re getting to know the amazingly charismatic, unique individuals
behind the group.) Screenwriter Alun Owen’s delightfully witty lines
seem to roll spontaneously off each Beatles’ tongue, resulting in
moment after moment of supremely quotable one-liners (one of my
favorites is George’s response to a reporter’s inquiry about what he
calls his haircut: “Arthur!”), and there’s a sort of wonderfully
inspired, completely surreal zaniness that surfaces from time to time as
well, all of which combine to make A Hard Day’s Night a true
classic of a rock-n-roll comedy. —reviewed
by Yee-Fan Sun
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