Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Roman Holiday- ~A fun timeless classic~

Roman Holiday(released in 1953) is a true classic romantic comedy and one movie that I really loved watching. It is quite surprising that even though I had heard of this movie, I had never got the opportunity to watch it on televison or see it anywhere else. The other day I was in Blockbuster and it was either "Roman Holiday" or another Michelle Pfeiffer movie. But somehow seeing the happy couple of Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn on the cover of Roman Holiday, I had to pick this one. The movie is shot and directed beautifully by William Wyler.

The story is very simple. A princess(Audrey Hepburn) of some state is visiting Rome on her official duties. Her schedule is so packed with her official activities that she feels stifled to death. Once night she makes her escape and meets up with a newspaper reporter(Gregrory Peck). Peck initially is not aware of the princess's identity but realizes it soon and hopes to find a story with her as he escorts her around the city. Peck enlists the help of his photographer friend to click the pictures as they roam around in the city. There is scene with the trio at a sidewalk cafe which is hilarious as Peck constantly keeps spilling drinks on his friend.

There are a ton of sweet and nice things that happen as they go around Rome. They also unknowingly fall in love. As the movie draws to a conclusion it breaks your heart to see the choices that both the lovers have to take, when they have to face the real world again after their one day of carefree life together. Apparently princesses and commoners dont just ride into the sunset. The ending will remain etched on your mind for a long time.

Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar winning role gives a performance of a lifetime and its quite surprising considering that this was her first major Hollywood role. She is achingly sweet as the princess who wants to enjoy the freedom of a commoner. She was only 24 years old when she acted in Roman Holiday. He childlike mannerisms, laughter and innocence is so beautifully captured in this movie.

I have to admit that Gregory Peck was so handsome in this and has acted in many movies but this is the first movie that I have seen of his. He plays the part really well allowing Hepburn to shine in her role. There is a scene in the story where he plays a prank(Mouth of Truth) on the princess and they never told Hepburn about it so that scene is a true one not a scripted one(See Video). It is said that he and Audrey Hepburn remained close friends after this right upto her death in 1993. He reminds me of Dev Anand the Indian actor who looks and acts a lot like him.

The black and white images of Roman Holiday are so charming and enhance the looks of the story. You can fully concentrate on the characters and that is so important to enjoy this romance. This is one movie you can watch over and over again and relive the golden era of old world cinema.

1 comment:

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