Watch O Lucky Man!
- 3 hr 4 min
O Lucky Man! is a satirical film released in 1973 that chronicles the journey of a young aggressive man named Michael Arnold Travis portrayed by Malcolm McDowell. The movie is directed by Lindsay Anderson, and it boasts of an impressive cast that features Ralph Richardson, Rachel Roberts, and Arthur Lowe. The movie is structured in a series of episodes that reflect the different stages of Travis's life, each straddling the balance between realism and allegory. The film begins with Travis portraying the role of a coffee salesman, and as he travels around the country selling coffee, he is often confronted with the many conditions of human suffering. From poverty to exploitation to slavery, Travis soon realizes that the world isn't exactly the way he thought it was.
As his journey progresses, Travis undergoes transformation, both internally and externally, and soon becomes confident enough to take on the world by meeting people who can offer him the first step into an entirely new world. For instance, he meets a wealthy businessman named Monty (played by Ralph Richardson) who hires Travis to be his personal assistant. Monty shows Travis the life of the rich and powerful but also exposes him to the world of corruption and greed.
As Travis's journey continues, he soon finds himself embroiled in a number of situations that force him to confront his beliefs about society, human interactions, and his own nuanced understanding of what success means. The action escalates to a point where Travis is arrested and thrown into jail. But instead of seeing it as a setback, Travis uses the opportunity to reflect on his journey and re-evaluate his goals.
One of the significant themes of this movie is the concept of luck. Throughout O Lucky Man!, Michael experiences how fortunes change in unexpected ways. Though he may believe he is lucky, each time he finds happiness, it proves fleeting, and he is immediately thrown into uncomfortable situations that challenge him in new ways. As the film progresses, Travis has to navigate through the various trials and tribulations to find his place in the world. His resilience throughout the movie is a testament to his tenacity and willpower.
The film's visual style is also noteworthy, featuring bright colors, long tracking shots, and a playful, sometimes even surreal, approach to storytelling. The cinematography conveys a sense of intense atmosphere, especially in the more dramatic and sinister elements of the film's narrative. The creativity showcased in the movie reminds us of the era, with its unconventional approach to storytelling.
The performances of the entire cast are the backbone of O Lucky Man!, with McDowell delivering a career-best performance. The film's playful and sarcastic tone, which belies its critical attitude towards contemporary culture, is pulled off thanks to some excellent comic timing delivered by the cast. Ralph Richardson's portrayal of Monty is subtle, yet powerful, while Rachel Roberts delivers a passionate performance as Gloria, a woman appearing in different stages of Travis's life.
One of the movie's most memorable aspects is its unique blend of genres, seamlessly weaving together satire, drama, comedy, and even musical sequences. The songs are catchy, well-written, and serve as commentary on the message the movie is trying to convey. Music lovers will enjoy the tunes of iconic rock band, Alan Price, whose songs make up the majority of the soundtrack.
Overall, O Lucky Man! is an excellent movie for those who enjoy satire and commentary on the society of the yesteryears. The movie is also significant for its reflection on the world of the time, offering an interesting commentary on the issues of social class, economy, and political issues that plagued the era. With excellent performances by the cast, impressive visuals, and memorable music, O Lucky Man! remains a classic must-see movie for cinema enthusiasts.
O Lucky Man! is a 1973 comedy with a runtime of 3 hours and 4 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.