Thursday, April 7, 2016

Time for a movie I don't particularly like

Tonight on TCM, there's a night of movies directed by Blake Edwards. Edwards actually did a fairly broad range of movies, as can be seen by the fact that the night begins at 8:00 PM with The Days of Wine and Roses and concludes at 5:00 AM with Breakfast at Tiffany's. He's probably best remembered, however, for the Pink Panther movies that he did with Peter Sellers.

One other film that Edwards did with Peter Sellers is The Party, which you can catch at 10:15 PM. I'm sorry to say that I wasn't a fan of this movie when I finally got the chance to catch it on TCM on a previous airing. The plot has Sellers as Hrundi Bakshi, an Indian actor who gets blacklisted because of how he screws up location shooting on a movie production. Or, at least, that's the plan. His name is written down with the intention of being on the list of people who are persona non grata, but a secretary miscontrues the presence of the name as being on the list of invites for a swanky Hollywood party. So Bakshi gets an invitation and shows up. What is supposed to be chaos ensues.

I'm sorry to say that this interesting-sounding plot didn't add up to much of anything for me. I found Sellers' character irritating; the scenes don't add up to much; the other characters are basically ciphers; and there's little reality here. Now, I suppose you could say that Sellers was trying to capture the magic of what somebody like Jacques Tati was doing in his movies, but things like M. Hulot's Holiday look at a topic we're all familiar with and skewer that, which is what makes the movie work so well. Watching The Party gave me the impression that these people were delivering some in-joke that, well, I wasn't in on.

But, as always, watch for yourself and come to your own conclusion.

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