Lawrence of Arabia
Note: Originally written in September 2015
Earlier this year, Mad Max:Fury Road stood out to be one of those films, which, with its gorgeous cinematography, managed to instill a haunting interest in me towards deserts. Deserts as landscapes, imaginative environments, inspirations and enigmatic ideas. Probably, the inspiration for Fury Road was there in someway all this while in 'Lawrence'. The courage with which David Lean and Freddie Young take this film's cameras into the various landscapes that dot deserts are the subject of much needed cinematic discourse. This has only culminated in visuals that are spellbinding, to say the least. Other than being spectacular, the visuals also add a very quaint dimension to the narrative, strictly in the way the camera moves and chooses where and how to frame the subjects. Like in the eponymous scene where Lawrence walks victoriously on a fallen enemy train, or in the opening shot of the motorcycle. I had an issue with the narrative; with how it chooses to focus more time on certain reflective moments of Lawrence that showcase his emotional turmoil and yet, at the same time, chooses to skimp time from certain crucial moments in the plot that are precursors to this turmoil. Maybe with a second viewing, I would be able to delve deeper into Lean's intentions with the narrative and peel off an unnoticed layer. But that in no way undermines the grandeur of this film; of its vision, its landscape, its imagination and its enigma. The star cast, including Peter O Toole, Omar Sharif, Antony Quinn and Alec Guinness, only adds a rich texture to the film's fabric. But I guess I could just watch this flick numerous times for those visuals of the desert.
Read more on the film at IMDB and Letterboxd.
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