Charlie Chaplin and his image of ‘The tramp.’
written by Souranath Banerjee.
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin popularly known as Charlie Chaplin was a man of all trades and also a master of them all!
Charlie Chaplin was an actor (his screen persona of ‘the tramp’ is globally recognized), a director (one of the best in the world), writer, producer, editor and also a brilliant music composer.
I doubt if any other personality in the history of world cinema is capable of such versatility and success.
But the best of Charlie Chaplin comedies are no ordinary slapstick laugh riots.
They have this rare quality of reaching out to us in layers more than we can comprehend in a conscious level. They evoke such profound sympathy for the poor/funny tramp that we cannot help but shed a few tears in the midst of all the apparent laughter.
We can never forget scenes like the one from his film Gold Rush when the Tramp tries his best to impress his lady friends at the dinner table.
And I am sure you remember the famous scene of Charlie’s despair when Jackie Coogan (the kid in the film The Kid) cries out for his father (Charlie Chaplin) while being forcibly taken away by the ‘County Orphan Asylum’ men.
Or the heart wrenching last scene of City Lights when Virginia Cherrill (the blind girl) finally recognizes the tramp who helped her get back her eyesight.
In one of his earlier films The Circus Charlie Chaplin had set the trend by playing the part of the poor lover boy who sacrifices his unexpressed love and takes initiative to let the girl go with some other guy only for the sake of their happiness. Ever since this theme has been a success formula for innumerable films across the world.
A visionary who made us laugh and cry at the same time, a legend to whom we are indebted for films that we absolutely love and will keep on cherishing for generations to come.
‘I’m emotional about most things but objective about my work. I don’t get satisfaction out of it, I get relief’.—Charlie Chaplin, New Yorker interview, 1950.
Also check out a rare documentary ‘The Chaplin Puzzle‘ narrated by Burgess Meredith.