Comparison Between Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid" And Rowan Atkinson's "Mr. Bean The Ultimate Disaster Movie"

1445 words - 6 pages

Name: Toh Lai Hee

Class: IA04B (Interactive Art)

Lecturer: Lydia

Subject: Art History

The most apparent similarity between these two films is that both films revolve around the daily lives of the main characters.

The main characters, Charlie and Mr. bean, in The Kid and Mr. Bean - The Ultimate Disaster Movie respectively, both have child-like qualities, and the tendency to be rather mischievous. Mr. Bean is naive and self-centered, sometimes to the extent of becoming somewhat mean. Despite his considerable age, he still sleeps cuddled up with his teddy bear. Nothing is sacred to him, and he plays his games with an earnest sheepishness. His childish directness and honesty, while offensive at times, are his sharpest weapons. The little adventures he gets into usually revolve around the foibles of British life and the comedy of embarrassment. He is practically friend-less (save for his teddy bear), and is an outcast, just like Charlie, the main character of The Kid. Charlie is a tramp living in the slumps of South London who, while walking around one day, stumbles upon a crying baby that had been abandoned on a heap of garbage. Instead of ignoring the desperate cries of the infant or throwing it into the nearest sewer, he displays the more compassionate side of human nature by taking the baby with him and caring for it like a father. When the child is taken is away from him, he naturally gets very upset, and with a child-like recklessness, embarks on a journey to get him back, a process which includes pursuing the orphanage van over rooftops to descend into the back of the truck, then dispatching the official who had taken the child away.

These two characters are also similar in their disregard for established values and the possible consequences of their actions. Their quaintness manifests itself in the unconventional way in which they analyze and then try to make the best out of whatever situation they find themselves in, clearing obstacles and solving problems that come, "their way", with a have a never-say-die attitude in their attempts to somehow belong to the society.

Both films, being formalistic, reflect the condition of the society at the particular point of time it was made; these "raw materials" have been slightly distorted, with symbolism and visual exaggeration being used to bring out the core messages their creators aimed to convey to the viewers, while giving the films a comic effect.

As Mr. Bean - The Ultimate Disaster Movie was a more recent film - The Kid was made several decades prior to it; the technology available to the creators of each film differed greatly. At the time of The Kid's production, a thing such as colour television was not heard of and sound had not yet been introduced into the production of films; The Kid was a silent, black-and-white film while Mr. Bean - The...

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