13 November 2012

Film review: Bananas (1971) by Woody Allen, ****


Woody Allen's second film as a director was a wild, unpredictable and unlikely comedy about a product-tester named Fielding Mellish (Allen), who can't quite connect with the woman of his dreams (Louise Lasser, Allen's ex-wife). He accidentally winds up in South America as a freedom fighter for a guerrilla leader who looks like Castro. Once he assumes power, the new dictator quickly goes insane--which leaves Fielding in charge to negotiate with the US. The film is chockfull of wonderfully bizarre gags, such as the dreams Fielding recounts to his shrink about dueling crucified messiahs, vying for a parking place near Wall Street. Look for an unknown Sylvester Stallone in a tiny role--but watch this film for Allen's surprisingly physical (and always verbally dexterous) humour. --Marshall Fine for Amazon


A funny movie about US interventions in Latin America. It is a comical rendering of the Cuban revolution in thinly veiled disguise. Allen's dry humor is evident throughout and highly enjoyable. While this is a movie intended to be funny, it is useful to understand the politics of the time. Here one can understand the idealistic outlook of the peace movements as well as the narrow minded perspective of mainstream politicians and bureaucrats! Both sides were mistaken! Highly recommended especially to those too young to remember those times.

For all its value as described above, the movie lacks the energy and the punch lines of the best Allen movies.

In the US buy it here

here is a great box set that contains this film as well.

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