Alphaville (1965)


Alphaville Movie Review

Alphaville is a 1965 science fiction noir film directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Eddie Constantine and Anna Karina. It is an interesting, but still very flawed movie.

I had so many problems with this movie. This is one of the examples where everything seems great and I should be loving it, but I still end up annoyed by it and finding it overrated. The story itself is definitely good and has its moments, but is executed rather poorly. It is clever, but then again too Orwellian and nothing new. And at times I found it to be pretty pretentious.

The characters are also problematic. Lemmy Caution is a clich├ęd and rather boring protagonist and others are all serving the plot device instead of being well fleshed out, except Natacha von Braun who is the finest character here.

The acting is good. Anna Karina did a really nice job and delivered her more emotional scenes quite well. And Eddie Constantine is also very good. All of the actors admittedly did a good job. The directing is also pretty good, but I have to say that I am not a fan of Jean-Luc Godard as this as well as ‘Breathless‘ I both did not particularly like. His filmmaking style is annoying to me and very pretentious. And always slight in substance, but great in style.

Yes, Alphaville is a technically polished movie and is worth seeing mostly for its technical prowess and great visuals. The imagery is fine and the film is well shot. The score, while repetitive, is still very atmospheric and memorable. It enhances the dark mood of the film wonderfully. And emotional intensity is present mostly in the ending whereas in the previous scenes, the film is overly cold and emotionless. That is the point, I know, but they should have made me care for the characters which they did not.

The dialogue is mostly good, but should have been better. And I really disliked the use of that distorted voice, that was so annoying. The movie has a good atmosphere and is dark and mature, but is also very slow and boring and always so pretentious. The pacing is very slow and the tone is too dramatic with the science fiction elements being rather underused and the romance only being used near the end. And the plot, no matter how important, is still typical and I’ve seen it countless times before. In the end, Alphaville is a deeply flawed, incredibly disappointing movie and Godard is definitely not my cup of tea. It isn’t bad, but isn’t that good either and is certainly not great. This is the type of movie that I should definitely rewatch, but for now it gets just a passing grade.

Alphaville is interesting and at times intriguing and it certainly has a good atmosphere, but it is too slow, too annoying and pretentious with a good premise fairly underused. It is such a disappointing and flawed movie that is poorly realized and boring to watch. This is certainly a style over substance.

My Rating – 3


Posted in 1960s, 1965, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Noir, Romance, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , .

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