This Sunday I saw the one of the most talked about psychological thrillers of all times. And realised one thing, a classic always stays a classic. One thing about timeless movies is that they always get the basics right.
Character: They’ll always be distinct. At least one of them will be. Here it was Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a twisted psychiatrist turned cannibal. Though his hair were neatly combed to the back, his dominating blue eyes sent a chill down my spine.
Plot: This is what keeps the story together. And more contradictory it is, stronger it becomes. The trick is to keep it believable. Here, the idea was to catch a psychopath killer with the help of a bigger, more twisted sociopath who’s blessed with an uncanny brilliance to understand human psyche.
Twist: Hiding in plain sight, Dr. Lecter fools Swat, the entire police force and everyone who’s trying to catch him.
Attention to detail: Jack Crawford, the psychiatrist who sends Charlice Starling, a young FBI officer, to lure Dr. Lecter for help, never mentions his intentions till she visits him twice. Why? Because a genius psychopath with an uncanny instinct would’ve detected her motive, if she had one, in the first place. So, the best way to shield that was to never give her a strong reason for her visits. This kind of thinking and counter thinking is what produces a gem of a story.
As we move towards the era of execution and special-effects-oriented film making, where Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee become more than just vehicles every 20 minutes, story takes a back seat. It’s imperative not to forget the basics is what makes the movie an all-time movie, execution will be laughed at as newer more advanced execution takes over. But a great story will always be appreciated.