With wrenches in his hand, a character chases after a woman to tighten the “bolts” (buttons) that are strategically placed on the front of her jacket on her breasts. This is played for laughs, and nothing actually happens except for chasing.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


Chaplin is undoubtedly one of the greatest film masters of the last century. His works have deeply influenced generations of people.

Modern times can be said to be Chaplin’s masterpiece. As the phrase says, “this film tells the conflict between individuals, enterprises and human beings in the pursuit of happiness in the industrial age”. Even today, more than 70 years later, when I watch the film, I also have a lot of resonance.

The hero Charlotte is an assembly line worker in a big modern factory. He repeats the same work nervously all day. Even the enjoyment of going to the toilet for a cigarette is deprived by ruthless and selfish capitalists. Finally, because he is overwhelmed, Charlotte is insane and sent to a psychiatric hospital by the factory. At the same time, he also loses his job to survive. Soon, he was discharged from the hospital. But on the street, he was mistaken by the police for the leader of the workers’ riot and put in prison. In prison, he took heroin by mistake, which led to excitement and crime. A series of absurd plots took place in Charlotte. Finally, he was released in advance. The warden said to him, “you are free.” But Charlotte said, “can you keep me for a few more days? I’m fine here.” Perhaps only in that absurd era did Charlotte have such absurd ideas.

Indeed, he is not as good as in prison outside. Although he has obtained superficial freedom, he still lives in a larger cage, in which the rich do whatever they want and the proletarians are homeless. After that, Charlotte met the heroine who was also a tramp. After a series of adventures, the heroine fell in love with Charlotte. They found their own paradise – a small broken wooden house by the river. They have also imagined the ideal paradise, such as the life in a rich family’s villa, such as the happy time in a large department store, but these are just fantasies. The paradise that really belongs to them is only the small wooden house by the river. Here, I saw the warmth and happiness they never had.

At the end of the film, Charlotte and the beautiful heroine are on the way to escape again, but the title of this chapter is “dawn”. I think Chaplin hopes they are walking on the road to dawn. Charlotte sees the heroine frowning. He tells her that she should smile and smile at dawn. This is also the glimmer of hope Chaplin gives us after a series of hardships, sadness and absurdity.

Today, more than 70 years later, when I watch this film again, I don’t feel the passage of time at all. Today, right beside me, there are stories in the film every day. Maybe there are many Charlottes around me. Maybe I’m Charlotte at all. Who knows.

Here, I think of a clip at the beginning of the film. The first scene is that many sheep rush out of the sheepfold, and then cut into a scene where many workers crowded out of the factory after work. Seeing here, I think of myself. I go in and out with thousands of people at the subway station every day. I think the two scenes at the beginning of the modern era have every reason to become the greatest and most classic montage in the history of film.

As Dickens said, this is the best time, this is the worst time.

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