Birth Anniversary Special: Charlie Chaplin and his world of cinematic genius

The 1992 biopic 'Chaplin' starring Robert Downey Jr. covers a good portion of the life of "The Tramp"

Mumbai: Charlie Chaplin hardly needs any introduction! He belongs to the silent-era comedians and he is regarded as one of the greatest of his time. His timeless physical comedic sensibilities continue to excite audiences across age groups — but Chaplin also performed outside the genre of comedy. In his later years, his films frequently featured more dramatic tones. However, he will probably continue to be best remembered for his comedy. Ahead of his 134 birth anniversary, let’s remember the legend through his movies which have endured the test of Time.

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City lights (1931)

A romantic comedy in a way only Chaplin could pull off, “the Tramp” falls in love with a blind woman but struggles to woo her due to his low social status and hilariously poor luck. Chaplin weighs the line between funny and sweet, especially in this film.

Modern Times (1936)

Modern Times marked the final appearance of “The Tramp” on screen. As an industrial worker, he struggles to survive on the assembly line. The machines abuse him — which results in a nervous breakdown. It is one of Chaplin’s funnier films, if not the funniest.

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The Great Dictator (1940)

After years of resisting the rise of sound in film, Chaplin released The Great Dictator, his first “talkie.” Hailed as one of the greatest satires in the history of cinema, in this movie, a Jewish barber (Chaplin) is mistaken for the fascist dictator of the fictional nation of Tomainia (a parody of Adolf Hitler, also played by Chaplin), due to their similar appearances. It carefully treads a line between slapstick and serious drama.

The Gold Rush (1925)

Chaplin introduced his late-nineteenth century Klondike Gold Rush in his aptly-named film The Gold Rush. The unlucky gold prospector finds himself snowed in a cabin with a more-successful prospector and a wanted criminal. Typical Chaplin silliness ensues as the trio struggles to stay alive with a shortage of food. It is yet another hilarious silent film from one of the masters of the genre.

The Kid (1921)

The Kid was Chaplin’s first feature-length film. In it, “the Tramp” finds an abandoned child and reluctantly takes him as his own. Together they run schemes — breaking windows and then fixing them — until a run-in with the police threatens his guardianship of the boy, forcing them to go on the run. It is one of Chaplin’s most emotionally affecting pieces, at least of the silent era.

The 1992 biopic ‘Chaplin’ starring Robert Downey Jr. covers a good portion of the life of “The Tramp”. The maverick artist continues to inspire respect for his love and experimentation with the art called cinema.

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