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Introspective: A Clockwork Orange

Posted September 3, 2011 by Max in Featured

I figured it was best to not actually review the film as much as discuss what I thought of it. Seeing how it’s been reviewed countless times before here I will go through what I liked and maybe some things I fond interesting about the film.

Note: After viewing ‘A Clockwork Orange‘ I agree that the film might not be for everyone, but it is a vital piece of film-making that has been influential to many great films.

<<SPOILERS FOLLOW>>

I think I’m finally starting to notice what unique touches Stanley Kubrick is known for. This being my fourth film I’ve viewed by him (2001, The Killing, Dr.Strangelove), certainly his artistic nature becomes clear. I started noticing his perfectionist attitude the other day when I reviewed ‘The Killing’, but it’s so much more obvious here. Every piece of art or texture has a distinct way of describing the type of person Alex is. There’s a particular scene in his bedroom where his pet snake is conveniently in-between the woman’s legs in the portrait above his bed. This is followed by countless visual gags to sex and violence in some nature. I thought it unique that such a deranged mind would love the ninth symphony by Ludvig Van Beethoven. Unfortunately and ironically, during his reconditioning they took the only beautiful thing he loved away from him.

Kubrick decided to not use color tones that other films may use to separate the film into acts. Instead of just relying with audio cues, he totally changes the tempo and decor of the film during different sequences. From the extreme vibrance of Alex’s personal and sexual life, to the  bleak visions of his imprisonment and inevitable reconditioning. Perhaps Kubrick always wanted to be a stage director since even ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘ can easily be described in acts.

Aren’t we being reconditioned as an audience half-way through the picture? Where we once thought what Alex did was gross and distasteful, I found the retribution for his acts to be just as disgusting. It could be argued that perhaps Alex was too forgiving and not evil enough with his crime’s (AKA. killing his victims),  that it ended up biting him back in the end. The bit of compassion he showed his victims would inevitably catch up to him. He had become has helpless as his victim’s, only because he was conditioned to just take the abuse from the ones who sought revenge. I almost hoped during my viewing that this hopeless, reconditioned slime, would rise up, and finish the job on the lot that would seek their revenge on him.

Certainly, we are to assume, that the devastating head damage caused to him from jumping out a window, reverted his mind back to where it was before the treatment. Beethoven would now bring him visions of violence and sex, just like it did before his treatment. He is more in control than ever with the government responsible for his unjust victimization. I thought I heard him mention that the administrative group was his droogs, which is the same term he used for his mob earlier in the film. Certainly, this understanding would allow him to exact a continuing cycle of extreme violence and sexual abuse to those around him. That is if he could ever walk again.

‘A Clockwork Orange’ is certainly a trademark Stanley Kubrick film. I’m sure many will be turned off with it’s grimm and distasteful subject, but isn’t that the point? Kubrick isn’t just conditioning Alex in his film, but he is also conditioning the viewer to be able to witness such atrocious acts of violence and find them unsatisfactory. If we in fact ‘like’ the film isn’t that counter-intuitive to what he was attempting in the first place? Certainly I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what Kubrick intended with ‘A Clockwork Orange’. Sexual, perverse and ultra-violent, ‘A Clockwork Orange’ is a film I will not soon forget.


About the Author

Max

Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.