Social and Political Critique and Commentary in Bonnie and Clyde

1952 Words8 Pages
Social and political critique and commentary in Bonnie and Clyde “The fact that the story is set 35 years ago doesn't mean a thing. It had to be set sometime. But it was made now and it's about us.” – Roger Ebert 1 At the time of its release in 1967, Bonnie and Clyde was the subject of intense debate. While the American film critic Roger Ebert hailed it as a milestone in American moviemaking, Bosley Crowther, another critic, referred to it as “a cheap piece of bald-faced slapstick Comedy”. 2 It was called the sleeper hit of the decade, and gained extreme notoriety for its breakage of traditional cinematic taboos, in that it showed rather explicitly both sex and especially, raw and brutal violence. It greatly surprised both the…show more content…
Within this rather traditional framework however, Bonnie and Clyde makes several compelling statements about 1960’s America. [This is too short to be a paragraph on its own.] Violence almost defines Bonnie and Clyde. It runs like a silver thread through the entire film. Graphic violence is today a rather common and somewhat natural characteristic of modern cinema, but before Bonnie and Clyde, it certainly was not. Arthur Penn introduced it in 1967. Before Bonnie and Clyde violence in film was hinted at or just implied through various sorts of acting techniques. Arthur Penn decided to show the audience the real, brutal and raw side to violence, using brilliant camerawork but more importantly, top-notch special effects and masterful visual skills. In Bonnie and Clyde the violence never feels fake, but terrifyingly real. Take for example the first graphic scene of the film, in which Clyde shoots a store owner’s face clean off, as he tries jump aboard the robbers’ getaway car. The man’s head basically explodes, splattering blood and pieces of brain all over the car window, and Penn shows us, the audience, this (although not in a Tarantinto-splasher-like way, but nevertheless) in a quite unromantic but very powerful and dramatic way. The scene is almost reminiscent of the famous scene from Battleship Potemkin 3 where the mother is shot in the face, and her

    More about Social and Political Critique and Commentary in Bonnie and Clyde

      Open Document