Finally catching Allen’s latest movie, here’s my review for it.
“You know I don’t know who I loathe more, those who use simple tricks to prey on the gullible or the gullible who are so stupid they deserve what they get.”-Stanley (Colin Firth)
Set in 1926, South France, a setting reminiscent of Allen’s previous Midnight in Paris and also of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” because of the similarity between the two places shown, is the story of Stanley, a well-known, arrogant and possibly the greatest of all magicians and how he defrauds a pretty young thing (A Psychic) who is preying on the Catlidges (A rich American Family). One can only assume that Allen set his latest movie in 1926, that too France because of some magic that is yet to be shown to the world through cinema.
Unlike other Woody Allen films though, Magic in the Moonlight is not creative or original like Allen’s previous ventures. What Allen normally does is create characters that cannot be defined by many movie clichés, such as the neurotic he himself is in Deconstructing Harry or Annie Hall or Bardem’s character in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Due to most of his characters being defined by clichés, the plot is predictable. The movie would’ve crumbled had it not been for France and the dialogues.
The characters include Stanley, the ego-centric, greatest, most arrogant magician out to debunk Sophie (Emma Stone), a psychic and also prove his superiority in logic as well as world view. Sophie is the pretty young face who baffles Stanley’s logical and rational world view as well as make a fool of him by her irrational(According to Staley) tricks. Due to the characters being so overdone, you could see their small love story and its eventual outcome only half an hour into the movie.
Nothing new. The plot delves into the obvious a lot. Which makes the act of watching the, movie rather mundane.
Had it been a debutant writer or a not a veteran writer as Woody Allen, it would have still been forgiven.
Like software engineering processes, the glue that holds the movie together along with the dialogues is Firth’s performance. To put it more plainly, he was like Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) as a magician. He was rational at first, and after meeting Sophie (Amy’ equivalent), he starts experiencing changes in his view of the world and himself and the love he believes he has.
Emma Stone on the other hand though, was outright bad. Her accent was too modern for 1926 and her body language was too causal for her character and not expressive enough.
This outing though, Woody Allen fails at what he does best. Indulging us into a world full of magical characters and fantasies and then take us on a spin. Though he doesn’t crash and burn badly, there is a lot of turbulence though. A part of me always gets a bit sad after a bad Woody Allen film that is not up to standards. A hard-core Woody Allen would still enjoy this though.