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Daniel Corleone's Movie Reviews (1781)

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The Elephant Man 
The Elephant Man review
4/4 stars

One the most accessible, realistic and dramatic masterpieces from the director. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) helps the mistreated John Merrick (John Hurt), in which he is labeled “The Elephant Man” because of his disoriented figure. It was peculiar how those who made fun of John in his room never got noticed even with the noise and number of people inside the hospital room. No real condition was delved into regarding John’s deformity and the snail pace keeps the plot from moving. Aside from the minor defects which go unnoticeable due to the magnificent performances, enigmatic storyline and skilled direction. The score was elegant and performances were fantastic that you would empathize Merrick's unfortunate treatment.

Screenplay was filled with quotable lines: John - “My life is full because I know I am loved.” "I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I ... am ... a ... man!" Mary Jane Merrick, quoting Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Never. Oh, never. Nothing will die. The stream flows, the wind blows, the cloud fleets, the heart beats. Nothing will die." and Dr. Frederick Treves - "Abominable things these machines - you can't reason with them." Themes of uniqueness, technology, inner beauty, societies discord with something different and friendship were beautifully portrayed. The Elephant Man is one of the directors best. The good acting, dealing with human deformities with some good moral understatements are suffice to keep this picture being viewed repeatedly. Clearly one of the best of its era.


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