Barry Lyndon (1975)
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
I decided it was time I gave this another go. I love Kubrick, but I’ve never got on with Barry Lyndon. Perhaps it was the pace and length boring my much younger self. Whatever it was, it’s troubled me that it seems one of Kubrick’s more revered efforts and although the scope and detail is pretty awesome, I think period dramas just aren’t for me. Scenes run long and I can’t help think that Stanley was thinking ‘well while we’ve got all these people here...’, that along with the BBC drama narration, endless shots that pan out and overuse of the harpsichord, pipe and sometimes full brass marching band score and... well I’m way out of my comfort zone. That all said, I found myself quite enjoying this revision. Very much a film in two halves (the intermission gives it away), the first part romps along quite nicely, with the fortunate although sometimes stunted rise of Barry’s life through wars, duals and aristocratic card games. Part 2 though is far more somber and reminded me why I struggled with this so much. I think a lot of this may also be to do with Barry becoming more dislikable as the minutes trudge by. I did on the whole enjoy it more and will increase my previous rating of 6/10 to...