Deconstructing Harry

1997

Comedy

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 73%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 45357

new york city author insanity writer's block

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
October 04, 2022 at 01:04 PM

Director

Top cast

Woody Allen as Harry Block
Stanley Tucci as Paul Epstein
720p.BLU
881.1 MB
1280*694
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Primtime 8 / 10

Allen at his best

Regardless of what Woody Allen may do in real life, he surely shines through his films. Just like the main character in this film who can't seem to get personal matters resolved, Allen faces the same predicament each day. He lets his films do the talking and stays away from the limelight. Deconstructing Harry does him justice in a few sequences as to what he feels and how the media treats him.

This film showcases some of Allen's better quirks when it comes to storywriting and directing. The much used "jump cut" effect helps to create a world that is disjointed from all else. When things are going fine, there are no jump cuts. However when things are less than opportune jump cuts add confusion to the scene and are used more often as the tension increases. The "out of focus" effect is the first of its kind and is very funny. The Robin Williams cameo didn't have much meaning, but his scene was one of the funniest due to him losing his touch. The same effect is used on Allen himself later in the film in another hillarious scene.

The storyline has many layers and isn't at all confusing (as others may have you believe) to the viewer. The use of actors portraying actors in this film is pure Allen genius and is another way that this film differs itself from the crowd. It is not so much that one follows along to see what happens to Harry, but rather to see what is going to happen next. When Allen needs an entourage to go to his alma mater honouring, he ends up taking a very unlikely group. The humour is at times crude and pokes fun at his usual groups (ie - ultraorthodox jews, hookers, WASP's and just about everyone else).

Allen uses his interesting techniques and smart plot to make this such a good film. One can only wonder how he always gets the foxes. At least he got Billy Crystal to play the devil. How fitting.

8/10 stars.

Reviewed by Kiwi-7 8 / 10

Vulgar, funny, honest, sad, a little bizarre

Woody bares his soul--again--and if the introspective vision of the sad clown (growing old) isn't what you're expecting, the film is likely to be a disappointment. The film is funny, of course, and vulgar (as most Allen movies are), but it's also bitter and cynical, and rather sad.

The jerky jump-cuts might be a stylized editing cover-up for jumping from take to take to utilise the best performances of a pantheon of actors, or they might be planned...I don't know. I had to see a few of them before I settled into accepting them as "the style", but I decided they work in this film.

Other "user comments" complain about Woody and the sexy young women. That bothers me in some films, but not here. Here it's part of Harry's character--part of Woody's "character"--and is clearly part of his problem.

I think this is an honest film, a sad and revealing film about one of the most clever and creative writers in America. It's funny, it's witty, and it's also depressing. It has moments of pure, laugh-out-loud humour (eg. the elevator going down to the bottom floor of hell; Harry arriving at the honouring ceremony with a dead body, a prostitute, and his "kidnapped" son in the car), but underneath it's the story of a man who cannot function happily in real life, only in the fictions he creates. Although fantasy plays a major role in the story, the story is not a fantasy. The parallels between Allen himself and the character and plot he's created here are obvious.

I enjoyed watching this video, and would recommend it-- selectively--to friends. If you like the Allen sense of humour, want to see a fairly unusual editing style used effectively, want to see some superb acting cameos by some very talented actors, or have an interest in the torments of a neurotic middle-aged genius and how they might be revealed on film, then you'll like this movie. If this doesn't sound like your kind of thing, watch something else.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 10 / 10

Woody Allen at his most personal and daring

By all means, Deconstructing Harry will divide, and has divided, viewers, people may be put off by the odd cuts, the (deliberately) fragmented story and the crass language(which will be a shock even for Woody Allen fans). Personally though Deconstructing Harry was a great film and among the best of Allen's 90s output and among his best overall as well. True, the pacing is too erratic in places but compared to how truly brilliant everything else that made no difference to me. The film may not be as visually beautiful as, say, Manhattan and Purple Rose of Cairo(but it was never was meant to be, it's not that kind of film), but while the photography may be deemed odd by some with the jump cuts it was really interesting and fitted perfectly with the subject matter. The scenery and such are lovely and authentic as usual. The soundtrack again, as is true of Allen, is very well chosen and catchy and never feels misplaced. The humour and script are very, very crass and scathing which was a shock to me on first viewing and for other people as well seeing as Allen has never been more bitter, but is so cleverly written and hilarious with a tinge of sadness the approach works wonders. Allen has plenty to say here and he doesn't hold anything back and presents it bluntly, it seems that he was having troubles personally(like Stardust Memories where he showed frustration at his critics except that was done much more subtly) at the same and there is that sense here. The story is unusually structured and very ambitious, almost fragmented, but never to the state of incoherence, and there are some really effective and hilarious scenes like the explicit sex scene and the one in hell. The character relationships are beautifully and insightfully done and the characters are written scathingly but not to the point of completely hating them(the mistake that Anything Else did). The acting is great from everyone, Kirstie Alley is cute and funny, Elizabeth Shue is sweet while not being too sugary, Robin Williams is just hilarious and Billy Crystal is devilishly good, pun intended. But Allen is the one who deserves a lot of the credit here, Deconstructing Harry has some of his most unique direction, perhaps a very close second to Zelig, and one of his best performances too. Overall, personal, daring, blistering and hilarious, one of Woody Allen's better films but one of his most divisive and (to me and quite a lot of other fans) under-valued. 9.5/10 Bethany Cox

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