A dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the ... See full summary »
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A dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the nature and limits of language. A series of sketches depict the unfolding of his life from boyhood, through the era of the first World War, to his eventual Cambridge professorship and association with Bertrand Russell and John Maynard Keynes. The emphasis in these sketches is on the exposition of the ideas of Wittgenstein, a homosexual, and an intuitive, moody, proud, and perfectionistic thinker generally regarded as a genius. Written by
I only have a slight idea about Wittgenstein's life and work. Perhaps this is the main difference I have with viewers who hate this film. Unsatisfied reviewers seem to fuss over which things should have been included in a film about Wittgenstein or how his life should be understood or examined. My contention with this approach is that I don't need to agree with a film's views to appreciate it. I appreciate writers' and directors' liberties in interpreting subject matter, especially creative and witty interpretations.
For fans of surreal and different films, this movie is delightfully and intelligently entertaining. The ton of symbolisms--understated, colorful, clever, cryptic, obvious or not--will make you appreciate the directorial style and the screenplay's ingenuity, and help you understand the philosopher in ways that will not put you to sleep like if you're reading one of his treatises. Breaking the fourth wall with the young Wittgenstein's charming and engaging acting is a treat. The old Wittgenstein's portrayal depicts torture and torment well. An evident contrast exists between the black background and the vivid, exuberant costumes and props--much like the dark life of the protagonist, and the flashy treatment of his life here, but far from flash without substance.
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