A Clockwork Orange is a highly criticised and controversial piece of film by Stanley Kubrick (director of Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket and The Shinning) and is an adaptation of the dystopian novel by Anthony Burgess.
If you believe the copious amount of negative publicity then you would watch this movie expecting to see over two hours of ultra-violence beyond anything you could ever imagine and I'm afraid you would be thoroughly disappointed. "Clockwork Orange" is a thought provoking,highly intellectual piece of art which should be experienced and enjoyed by the masses.
The opening scene of narrator and main character Alex de Large (Malcolm McDowell) is an intimate close up on the young punks calculating stare and smirking, jovial face. He is wearing a bowler hat and has false lashes on his lower and upper lid of his right eye. His cuff-links and suspenders and decorated with a bloody eye ball. As the camera zooms out our anti-hero is sitting amongst his horde of teenage "droogs", Georgie (James Marcus), Dim (Warren Clarke) and Pete (Michael Tarn).The young hoodlums are all adorned with white combat suits and a cod-piece, parading the sexuality of their youthful bodies.
By all means, "Clockwork Orange" does not make for easy viewing. For one, the dialogue is a mixture English, Russian and Cockney slang-known as Nadsat. In my opinion, due to the numerous themes explored in this extraordinary piece of film it is in the viewers best interest to watch it more than once in order to fully appreciate it.
The main themes explored is of free will and human rights. This makes the movie relevant in today's society and is what makes it such a lasting film. Alex and his gang of "droogs" represents mankind and what it is capable of when uncontrolled and everyday conventions ignored. The violence conducted through this is saw entirely from the droogs point of view and the pleasure they take from it is very apparent.
The film questions the darkest elements of the human condition and the answers do not make for comfortable viewing. Alex represents teenage angst and how society has shaped the youngsters of the world.
Due to the violence portrayed "Clockwork Orange" is bound to ruffle a few feathers but is undoubtedly a piece of film that will outlive the generation it was created for. There is the perfect balance between entertainment and art and allows the viewer to develop their own opinions on it. In my own opinion "Clockwork Orange" will always be one of my favourite films and every time I see it I take something new away from it.
Running Time: 131 minutes
UK Certificate: 18