Bonnie and Clyde (1967) (R)
It's hard to come across a movie where you cheer for the villains. There's "Ocean's Thirteen" and "The Italian Job" and other heist movies. "Monster" tried to make you empathize for the bad guy but, for me, it failed. "Bonnie and Clyde" is the one movie that I have seen where the antagonists have no ulterior motives—it's not a revenge story, or rob the rich give to the poor, it's not even because they are down on money—it's simply because they can.
Bonnie Parker is a Texas girl working as a waitress. She knows that she wants more out of life but can't decide exactly how to get it. Clyde Barrow is a confident man, he knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. But in some ways, Bonnie is the more aggressive of the two, she has more emotions and is more impulsive.
The two meet in a somewhat bizarre twist of fate. It's purely coincidental but they strike up a natural chemistry. In a flight of fancy, Clyde robs a supply store to impress Bonnie and the two start on their path of crimes and misdemeanors.
Let me admit—I loved this movie. It's one of the great American classics.
The leading couple are infamous in American lore for their crimes, but I didn't know much about the actual couple. "Bonnie and Clyde" is not a biopic, it doesn't seek to educate its viewers. Instead it's a movie that reveals something about humanity. Bonnie and Clyde are the most relatable 'villains' that I have ever seen. They don't have some dark secret hidden in their past like most bad guys. They don't obsess over ideas, hold grudges, have a vendetta, or hate what their doing. I argue that they are the most original antagonists brought to screen yet for one reason—they're average. They are entirely human which makes them so relatable. They're a little quirky, sure, but all-in-all they are the tamest villains I've ever seen.
Bonnie and Clyde are played by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty—truly one of the best on-screen couples. They chemistry is so great that it rivals some of the best yet such as Scarlett and Rhett from "Gone with the Wind" or Rick and Ilsa from "Casablanca". They both do such a good job.
Parts of the movie are funny and quirky and others are filled with much emotion.
Bonnie and Clyde, in being villains actually turn into something else as the movie goes along—heroes. It's not a classic Greek hero that they become, but they are heroes in their own ways.
It's a fantastic achievement in film.
Score: 4 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones