Lolita Review

Catching up on some Kubrick I haven’t seen: Lolita.

download-21It’s the story about a French lit professor who falls in love with the daughter of his landlady, so to speak, the nymphet Lolita.  Directed as a satire of indecent lusts, it portrayed an interesting relationship later in the story when the couple had to pretend to be father and daughter in order to hide what was really going on behind closed doors.

It reminded me of an Electra Complex and made me wonder if the there had been a relationship similar but where the step-father actually wanted both aspects, the daughter and the lover.  Is there a name for such a complex?  I couldn’t find anything and I don’t even think the ancient Greek gods were that fucked up.  That said, this is an excellent example of lateral thinking, something much needed throughout the screenwriting world.

Even though Vladimir Nabokov, the author of the novel the film is based on, is himself credited as the screenwriter here, it’s known that Kubrick had to come in and cut most of it down, as well, I assume, edit most of the dialogue into the excellent free flowing Americanized dialogue heard in the film.  Pretty good for something from the 60s.

It’s no Barry Lyndon in regards to filmmaking but Lolita stands the test time.  I think what helps that is the excellent comedy of Peter Sellers, who is absorbing in his portrayal as the American playwright Clare Quilty, the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  Zany, suave, charming and bold.

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