Barry Lyndon – 1975 – Stanley Kubrick

Barry LyndonBarry Lyndon ought to have one of the greatest cover arts of all time! It’s pure genius in its simplicity! Add the fact that it was directed by the late great Stanley Kubrick and it’s almost impossible not to be attracted to see it. For me, I haven’t actually seen it until now. I feel a bit ashamed as I, as a self-proclaimed film expert, should have had it in my frame of reference for many years already. But there’s just so much time and sometimes reality comes between the arts and the frame of reference. I’m glad that I finally found the time to see it. It’s a three-hour adventure so it takes some planning. But I did it and I’m glad I did!

The story of Barry Lyndon is told in two parts. And since the movie is so long there’s even an intermission in the middle. I guess it wasn’t so common with these long movies in the mid-seventies. Maybe it was necessary to give the audience a break halfway through. Those times are gone through and when watching in the comfort of your own home it’s more annoying than beneficial. It still fits in the narrative though. The story before and after the break are different or focuses on different times in the life of Barry Lyndon. It’s a joy to see the development of the character. How the rise of the young man and decay of the old man. It feels like you’re part of the era the film displays and it’s very easy to get attached to the characters.

I would say, however, and I guess Iäll get a lot of criticism for this, that the acting is a bit over the top at times. It’s overacting, especially from the male lead Ryan O’Neil. It’s not much, but I didn’t expect this in a movie from master director Stanley Kubrick

One thing I really like about Barry Lyndon is that there’s a narrator to keep things together. That’s a thing that adds to the credibility of the story. It creates the feel of a real story being told even if it’s, in fact, a fictive one. But what do I know, maybe the story itself is based on true events, it wouldn’t be too far fetched. It’s a very interesting movie masterfully told. I’m glad I took the time to watch it in its entirety.

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