September 3, 2014
Movie Night: Being There.
Review #636: Being There.
Peter Sellers (Chance the Gardener/Chauncey Gardiner), Shirley MacLaine (Eve Rand), Melvyn Douglas (Ben Rand), Jack Warden (The President), Richard Dysart (Dr. Robert Allenby), Richard Basehart (US Soviet Ambassador), David Clennon (Thomas Franklin), Fran Brill (Sally Hayes), and Ruth Attaway (Louise) Directed by Hal Ashby.
What we have here is a movie based around a simple man who may have secrets that even he probably doesn't know about. The best quote to describe this movie is also the quote used to end the movie: "Life is a state of mind." My thought on this is that life is merely our mood at the time, if we feel a certain emotion, then that is how life is to us at that point. It varies, like our moods. But Chance is a different case. He's a man who spent years gardening and watching television. That's all he had done, until he was kicked out. His life evolves purely out of accidents out of his control, the movie's implications are still hilarious though. This was Peter Sellers' last movie released when he was alive, and he makes the most of it with a perfect performance for a character as strange as him. His walking, his face and most of all his delivery make for a really interesting performance. The rest of the cast is also good, MacLaine works best with Sellers, and Douglas nearly steals the show from Sellers, the main three cast members all manage to be intriguing characters, yet they also manage to feel so real. The movie has its moments of drama, though it also manages to be a very good comedy. It has its subtle moments, such as the music that plays when Chance leaves the house and cross the street for the first time. The end scene is yours to interpret, much like how it's your decision to interpret exactly who Chance is. This is a movie with a great deal of quirks, the biggest one being its biggest strength, and that just happens to be Peter Sellers.
Overall, I give it 10 out of 10 stars.