The One about Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”

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Captivating, witty and definitely a Woody Allen masterpiece!

Whether or not what Allen may think, considering he did all he can to have this film shelved. But while I’ve read many interviews of what made him feel that way, I would probably have to say it was probably director’s exhaustion of working on a project for too long and also being a perfectionist and feeling it wasn’t good enough.

But similar to how I felt about “Annie Hall”, “Manhattan” is a film that I absolute love for its witty banter, its characters and one-liners that Woody Allen that still make me laugh each time I watch this movie (the “Van-Gah” and Fellini one-liner continues to make me laugh out loud to this day).

An apart from the performances and writing,”Manhattan” to me, is a romantic comedy that captures the romantic side of New York City through its wonderful wide shots and composition. Add the music of Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic with beautiful pieces such as “Oh, Lady Be Good”, “‘S Wonderful”, “Love is Here to Stay” and Gary Graffman’s memorable score of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” to name a few.

Bare in mind, this is in the 1970′s and from films such as “Taxi Driver” to “Saturday Night Fever” had always captured the more rugged side of the city. From focusing on a variety of locations and shooting in black and white, “Manhattan” looks romantic and beautiful. And this is where we see Woody Allen, the director at his best. Choreographed scenes that are carefully planned and pulled off with amazing efficacy.

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In some ways, this film does get better with time. And I mean that by saying how I seem to enjoy this film the older I get. From watching this film for the first time in my late teens and now at the age of 40, there is always something new that I pick up with this film and find myself understanding the character of Isaac (played by Woody Allen) much more. Even a little bit of the character of Yale. And I think this film helps people reflect on past decisions, specifically poor ones that come back to bite you in the ass.

Manhattan” is a romantic comedy and Woody Allen masterpiece that is a timeless classic! Featuring wonderful cinematography, music, witty dialogue and memorable one-liners and a true Woody Allen classic!


 

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Dennis A. Amith