← Back to Reviews

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

God, why don't they make movies like this anymore? This epic piece of film art and storytelling deserves all the praise it gets. It's impossible to look away from its beauty and it's impossible not to be entranced by its dark, but very humane story. I can't even explain how rich this film experience was. Noone was ever able to make epics quite like David Lean could. What a giant he is.

This is definitely another film that I'll write a longer review about in the future, but let me just shortly tell you how this film was able to meet and even exceed my high expectations in every single positive way...

First of all, I was of course expecting a few great images. I think it's pretty safe to say, after finally watching it, that this is one of the most beautiful films ever made. It captures the atmosphere of the desert in such a special way. Lean makes it look like one of the deadliest and most dangerous places in the world, while also making it seem incredibly romantic and poetic at the same time.

The music is simply stunning. It's inexplainable. Just listen to it:

The story was much more dark and tragic than I thought it would be. I was expecting a more typically heroic story, but the film was way more than just that. It's a very layered tale.
Lawrence's character is absolutely spellbinding. He kind of seems to be searching for his own identity throughout this film. He's an oddball, he's stubborn, he's a hero, he's humble, he's an egomaniac, he's almost a God and he's a psychopathic murderer all at the same time. He's a Brit and he's an Arab...
The film guides us fluently and brilliantly through Lawrence's different psychological phases that seem to be caused and influenced by war, praise, violence, murder and abuse. Lawrence learns a lot about himself, but in the end he's not at all satisfied, despite all the seemingly great things he achieves throughout the film and all the different stages of himself he gets to explore. He seems more confused than ever before.
The character's ambiguous feeling also gets projected to the "big picture" of it all, the politics behind the war.

The performances were also fantastic. It's needless to say, but Peter O'Toole's performance is one of cinema's greatest. Omar Sharif is terrific, Alec Guinness is convincing, Anthony Quinn is fantastic and I can't believe that I didn't know Claude Rains was in this picture! He's deliciously cynical as usual.

David Lean was a giant.