The Kid - A Classic Tearjerking Comedy

                                The opening title of Chaplin's first film says that it's, "A picture with a smile and perhaps a tear." "The Kid" proves itself of this statement. It will move people to uproarious laughter and keep them in a state of unstoppable delight, it also will touch their hearts and win sympathy. 'The Kid' was Chaplin's first full-length feature, which was instantly hailed as a masterpiece. This movie established Chaplin as a major player in the movie business. 

                                The story is very simple. Chaplin, as usual, plays the tramp. But in this one, his co-star of five years old, Coogan upstages Chaplin in every scene. 'The Kid' is about the tramp's relationship to Jackie, a five-year old kid who has been abandoned by his unwed mother. Jackie was found and raised by the Tramp as his own surrogate son. The Tramp teaches the kid to help them make a living as con artists, the child throwing rocks through people's windows and the tramp coming along to repair them. 

                         In the mean time, the mother rises to prominence as a stage entertainer, all the while regretting her giving up her child and looking constantly for him. The blissful father and son relationship is endangered when a nosy doctor gets the people from the orphanage to attempt to take away the kid, by force. But they have to fight the Tramp for that first.

                        Chaplin transferred his own comedic skills, and many of his tramp's traits, to little Jackie Coogan. Coogan's magnificent performance, responsible for much of the success and popularity of the film, was the first by another performer that Chaplin totally controlled and dominated, in effect creating an alternative Chaplin in a different physical guise. Apart from the fictional material in the film, one can also strongly sense the influence of Chaplin's own personal experiences - his own life as an abandoned child of the London slums. the death of his first own child, born prematurely, and the collapse of his own first marriage, at least partially resulting from the child's death. 

                      Critics often praise the film for its effortless combination of comedy and pathos, which is not as easy as it looks. Even today, film-makers are trying to come up with that winning combination and failing more often than not. The Kid's memorable spotlights include breaking and selling of the window panes, Chaplin's fight with the neighborhood bully, and the truly bizarre dream sequence with the fairy. The most celebrated clip is the one in which the kid cries and calls to Charlie from the back of the orphanage truck, and it's a truly sensational, heartbreaking moment.    
                   While Chaplin and Coogan form the center core of 'The Kid,' Edna Purviance effectively plays the woman whose 'only sin was motherhood.' Even though her part  is relatively small and melodramatic, she remains memorable as the goodhearted forced to give up her child that later redeems herself, providing the kind of ending that Chaplin would have wished for himself. 

                    "The Kid," with its old-fashioned yet adorable combination of pathos and humor, is a film for all ages. The movie presents the quintessential Chaplin spirit, and it probably does more in its sixty-odd minutes to convince us of the man's genius than anything he ever did. "The Kid" is a true breakthrough from the comic genius. 


 The Kid - IMDb 


Haricharan Pudipeddi said...

Undoubtedly one of Chaplin's best films. Loved it when I watched it several years. All his films are super entertaining with appropraite dose of emotional elements that will make you shed a tear. Loved reading the review

Mithil said...

The first chaplin movie I saw. I was totally confounded by the range of emotions it depicted and how the father son duo chemistry made it a must see movie on my list. I am eager to catch up with all his movies ... any rec..
Btw grt reveiw

Tanny said...

Though Chaplin movies are considered to make one laugh but it always leaves me in a state of despair and pain. “The Kid” will always remain the best in the lot. Appreciate your effort for good writing and reminding of this movie as am going to watch it again very soon.

One thing I really liked in this review is very intelligently chosen picture from the movie and the poster cover. Kudos !!

Anonymous said...

The trailer was very good.
The review was touching!

Thank you for this

Arun Kumar said...

@Haricharan, Thanks for the comment

@Mithil, Thank you. Keep visiting the blog.

Arun Kumar said...

@Tanny, The Kid is the especially best, since it's his first effort on a full-length movie. Thanks for the comment. Keep visiting.

@Divenita, Thank you, and do watch the movie.

Samik said...

You got a great design!! i LOVE your review!! and you know.. i think you should work on the design of your blog.. just a sugesstion :)...

gsb said...

I watched this movie.. probably 10 times. Sitting along with my dad!

trust me! one of the very best movies of all the times,
apart from the movie.
I loved your style of expressing things :)
i have bookmarked your blog :)