Charlie works on a farm from 4am to late at night. He gets his food on the run (milking a cow into his coffee, holding an chicken over the frying pan to get fried eggs). He loves the ...
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Charlie, the emotional violinist, flees to a gipsy camp, only to find himself playing for an abducted girl. Soon, a unique birthmark will pave the way for an unexpected rescue and a marvellous new life. But, will she forget him so easily?
Charlie works on a farm from 4am to late at night. He gets his food on the run (milking a cow into his coffee, holding an chicken over the frying pan to get fried eggs). He loves the neighbor's daughter Edna but is disliked by her father. He rides a cow into a stream and is kicked off. Unconscious, he dreams of a nymph dance. Back in reality a city slicker is hurt in a car crash and is being cared for by Edna. When Charlie is rejected after attempting to imitate the slicker, the result is ambiguous--either tragic or a happy ending. Critics have long argued as to whether the final scene is real or a dream.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Am a big fan of Charlie Chaplin, have been for over a decade now. Many films and shorts of his are very good to masterpiece, and like many others consider him a comedy genius and one of film's most important and influential directors.
From his period after Mutual, 'Sunnyside' is not one of his very best and not even among the best of this particular period. As said with many of his post-Keystone efforts, it shows a noticeable step up in quality though from his Keystone period, where he was still evolving and in the infancy of his long career. The Essanay and Mutual periods were something of Chaplin's adolescence period where his style had been found and starting to settle. After Mutual the style had properly settled and the cinematic genius emerged. Something that can be seen in 'Sunnyside' though other efforts do it better.
The story is slight and a bit too busy and manic in places. It does get bogged down at times by padding and a few scenes that don't serve a lot of purpose. Not all the sequences work either.
It is agreed that the nymphs scene in particular is bizarre and doesn't fit with the rest of the content and story, that was a scene that could easily have been left out and it would not have affected anything at all.
On the other hand, 'Sunnyside' looks good, not amazing (though the opening shot for early Chaplin is remarkable) but it was obvious that Chaplin was taking more time with his work and not churning out countless shorts in the same year of very variable success like he did with Keystone. Appreciate the importance of his Keystone period and there is some good stuff he did there, but the more mature and careful quality seen here and later on is obvious.
'Sunnyside' is very funny and charming, if not one of Chaplin's substance or pathos-filled. Its best moments (like with the horse doctor) are hilarious with some clever, entertaining, remarkably inventive and well-timed slapstick and the charm doesn't get over-sentimental. It generally moves quickly and there is little dullness in sight. The second half is both hilarious and enchanting and the message isn't laid on too thick and has more potency than one would think.
Chaplin directs more than competently and the cinematic genius quality is emerging. He also, as usual, gives a playful and expressive performance and at clear ease with the physicality and substance of the role. The support is good and the chemistry charms.
Overall, good but not great. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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