Sunday, 2 October 2011

Film Reviews: The Fly (1958)

Ilmi Omar
The Fly 1958

The original version of “The Fly” by Kurt Neumann in 1958 tells a story of a scientist who gets attached to his work and makes an experiment of him self. His DNA is spliced with an insect after an experiment with teleportation machine he had created. This then leads to him taking his own life because of what he has become. His constant pursuit of wanting to find something that could “change the world” leads to his world being changed. He becomes part of his own experiment in which he cannot deal with and asks the one person who loves him most to take his life. His wife.  

The portrayal of his perfect family life is evident. He has a devoted wife and a beautiful child. The film is told in a flash back sequence by his wife Helene (Patricia Owens) after Andre Delambre (David Hedison) is found dead with his head an arm crashed in a hydraulic press.  She implies that she killed her husband but she is not a murderer. That statement on its own has a major effect on how the audience sees her from the beginning. We start to make judgments about her. We start to create alternatives realities on why she has killed her husband.

As the film goes on we see how Helene is. A devoted wife who wants nothing more but to please her husband, a faithful wife who does everything she could to save her lover. Even after his transformation when the animal instincts are taking over she risks her life to save his. Constantly asking him to have faith in her begging him to get help of another since she’s not able to.

This film focuses on the psychological side of the horror this couple is going through. Technology was not advanced enough to portray the physical of it. Even when Andre transforms into this hybrid, we do not see the process of it. His head is covered with a cloth, we sense that he is not normal but the horror of it we don’t feel. Ande feels that he may be a danger to family and his surroundings and you also sense that he feels ashamed to live. With the animal he is becoming there’s the human act of him asking his wife to grant him his last wish, to kill him. 

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