Search This Blog

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thoughts on Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder died at age 83. He was hilarious, and so good at playing characters that were thisclose to a nervous breakdown, but still having just the tiniest amount of control to keep it together. This was greatly exemplified in The Producers and Young Frankenstein, both great films that still hold up well with its brilliant writing and comic timing.

He was absolutely brilliant as Willy Wonka, as Wonka had this unnerving mystery to him, often guiding the children to temptation and only half-assedly stopping them from hurting themselves, leading to the consequences of their greed. He often insulted the children and their parents to their faces in shady manners, commenting on their ill behavior and their indulgent and naive parents. Wilder as Wonka kept him hard to figure out, and there are interesting interpretations of his character as a serial killer, a mad genius, or a sane man who truly was looking for an heir to his factory.

Wilder and Richard Pryor made for a great duo, especially in Silver Streak, a superb action comedy, where it felt like a precursor to Die Hard at times, and was just so sharply written and funny as hell. They both had this nervous energy that played off of each other well, like two outsiders finding kinship with each other. They also excelled as a blind man and a deaf man working together to solve a mystery in See No Evil, Hear No Evil though the film wasn't very good.

I hope he and Gilda Radner are reunited as souls, they seemed like a very loving and sweet couple, and their little dog too (I know this from reading an excerpt of Radner's autobiography where she talked about her adored little dog). This is just a sad loss, and I hope Wilder went peacefully.

No comments:

Post a Comment