An Expat Life: Nicaragua Blues and Ruse

Friday, June 1, 2007

Lolita, The Movie

Lolita.....the name itself implies many things. Most of all, it harkens the image of a teenage femme fatale that destroys decent men in her wake. Ahh, yes, the Nabakov novel was made into a quite remarkable, albeit controversial film in the early 1960s, by up and coming director Stanley Kubrick.

Well, I'm ashamed to admit it took me the better part of 30 years to see this cinematic masterpiece, a film so edgy and transcendent, that it could hardly be better made today. At any rate, the protagonist Humbert Humbert, a visiting literature professor from France, happens upon an unassuming small Ohio town, only to be completely destroyed by a teenage vixen. Lolita, living with her tragic widow mother Charlotte Haze, competes for affection from the Frenchman. The Aprodite complex, as Kim aptly reminded me, kicks in, and the 'innocent' Lolita spins a web before long, entangling the unsuspecting Humbert Humbert, played adequately by James Mason. So enamored with Lolita, Humbert Humbert actually marries her obnoxious, boring mother, in an astounding attempt to remain closeby. The story picks up when Charlotte discovers his secret yearnings (in the form of his diary) for her daughter, and she promptly 'plays' in the rural Ohio traffic. Following her bizarre death, Humbert Humbert 'constructs' an odd arrangement with the 'innocent' Lolita, which quickly descends into romantic relations between stepfather and daughter.

Interwoven in this storyline, insert Clare Quality, brilliantly portrayed by Peter Sellers. I had no idea what an incredible actor Sellers was, as I really only thought of him in terms of the Pink Panther films. At any rate, Sellers' character, the antagonist, catches on to the dysfunctional relations between Lolita and and the French literature professor, dogging the pair, masterfully assuming disguises throughout the film, and, in the end, revealing secrets of his own. You should really see this film, if only to discover what a talented actor Sellers really was. They don't make them like that anymore. It's true. I won't spoil the ending....Perhaps you've read the book.....but, the film really is worth checking out. The best I've seen in awhile......

Word to the out for Lolitas!

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