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A Clockwork Orange (1971) – Movie Review

Having seen five Stanley Kubrick films, I was waiting to watch A Clockwork Orange right after 2001: A Space Odyssey, but since I’ve been a bit busy, I had to postpone it. However, now that I’ve watched it, I will be telling you my opinion of the film. Considered to be one of the most controversial films at the time of its release, A Clockwork Orange is an interesting character study of a psychopath being controlled by the government while delving deeper into the themes of control, chaos, manipulation and free will.

Loosley based on the novel of the same name, A Clockwork Orange is set in future England and centers around Alex, a charismatic, psychopathic deliquent who lead a group of thugs to commit crimes in the city. However, Alex is imprisioned for murder and rape and he volunteers for an experimental thearpy conducted by the government, but it begins to go awry.

Once again directed by Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange provides an interesting commentary on how the society provides control and manipulation against the people and it uses disturbing imagery to comment on psychiatry, juvenile delicuency, mind control and other social and political subjects in our society.

The cinematography is astonishing to look at,as each frame captures the rich and disturbing atmosphere of the film. The set design also contributes to the setting and the score manages to use classical music, such as Beethoveen’s Ninth Symphony, to effective results, and the editing keeps the story moving at a nice pace.

As for the performances, Malcolm McDowell pretty much steals the show, as he manages to shine as the main character, Alex, and gives us one of the most compelling anti-heroes brought to the screen. The supporting cast also do a good job in their given roles. The issues I have with the movie is that the movie’s treatment of women, which is very disgusting to look at, and the rape scenes are hard to watch. The movie can be very confusing to understand.

Overall, A Clockwork Orange is a complete mindfuck. It’s up there with Kubrick’s best films and it provides a brilliant commentary on morality, control and psychology as well as giving a compelling character study of a troubled man being controlled by his own society.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

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