Sunday, September 1, 2013
FRANK BORZAGE'S STREET ANGEL
The film takes place in Naples and our main character is a young lady named Angela(Janet Gaynor). She steals money to pay for a cure for her sick mother but she gets caught in the act, her mother dies and she joins a circus. She then meets a painter named Gino (Charles Farrell). Gino decides to go to Naples to sell his art work and a reluctant Angela goes but worries that she might be figured out as a criminal and may lose her lover for good. The story has nearly every love story cliche in it. Love at first sight, misunderstanding, women with a troubled past, leaving a man without saying why (which is indeed a dick move), liar revealed and having a happy ending. It's really really cliched and the only thing that's new to the cliche is the ending becomes grim which I thought was going to end sad but no it went to not only a predictable ending but also to a corny ending as well.
Now aside from these over used cliches in this film, I still feel the romance from these two characters. I feel the pity and love from our lead Angela and Janet Gaynor really pulls a great performance. Same goes to Charles Farrell as Gino because I love the passionate love he has for her and I love how the heartbreak turns him into a mad man. The chemistry between them is good but for me the best and emotional scene the two have together is when Angela only has one hour with Gino before she goes to jail while Gino is happy for a great future. Cliche writing but the love is there as well as the passion from the actors.
The film is actually really good looking. The cinematography is great epically when it captures the misty streets of Naples. The sets and art direction is very creative, very dark looking and the shadowing for some of the scenes are really neat. What really impresses me is the films sound. While sound is still being explored at the time we hear a knock on the door, the sound of people singing and some really haunting whistling. The score itself also brings the happiness, the romance and the darkness to this film.
If you can get passed these not so new cliches, I think you'll enjoy it for the acting, sets, cinematography and music. With that said for me it's an ok film, nothing new but the stuff that's good is done well.