44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Gritty and great,
This review is from: The Lost Weekend [DVD] (DVD)
This should be in everyone's list of the greatest films ever made. It profiles the slow descent of an alcoholic into an internal hell- it doesn't show the final moments of such a descent but lets us and him see where the story might end. It offers some hope but not much. Its wonderful particularly because of its insight into the psychology of its characters. The main character, Don, knows he is an alcoholic, understands it is a problem but can't get away from the thrill of it, he wants to but can't break out of it. His mornings and Sundays are consumed by guilt, the rest of the time he cadges, steals and begs money for drinks from others. His brother and girlfriend, his barman and a local whore stand by watching his descent into torture, trying to persuade him that there is something worth saving there. You can see especially in his brother and girlfriend's eyes the expression of mingled incomprehension and love that close friends feel for those going through these experiences- incomprehension that somebody like Don with so much to live for could think they have nothing and love for Don. In a strange way by the end of the film, we who begin the film understanding his point of view- the endless quest for a drink- understand theirs too and Wilder takes us to a place that no other film about addiction has ever taken me where we sympathise with the addicted victim and yet still more with those he damages by his addiction. This is a great film- if you haven't seen it watch it now.