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The Razor's Edge (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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Bill Murray stars in this adaptation of the classic novel by W. Somerset Maugham of a World War I veteran disillusioned by jazz-age values. He breaks off his engagement to Isabel (Catherine Hicks) and sets out on a journey that takes him through the trenches of WW I, the Himalayas of India, and Paris.
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Some of the images in this movie are stunning, and there are times when I get the feeling that I'm looking at one of those Asian landscape paintings in which the tiny figure of a man sits in silent meditation among great mountains, a broad sky, and placid valleys. Without beating you over the head with it, the camera work constantly reminds you that life is bigger than you and that the world is full of wonders. The story reminds us that such wonders can be either beautiful or ugly, with many of them being both at the same time.
The reason I don't give it 5 stars? It left a lot of character development unaddressed, and the viewer simply had to fill in the blanks for many of Larry's challenges and realizations. If you don't find it tugging at your heart, and if you don't find yourself solemnly nodding at some of its poignant observations about life, and then laughing at some folly we all share, then it's not due the movie's shortcomings.
There are significant differences between this film and the novel by W. Somerset Maugham. The narrator is not a character in the film as in the book. Larry Darell does not visit the Dalai Lama in the book as he does in the film, but rather spends several years in India living with a Hindu holy man. Larry's philosophical and religious revelations in the book stem from Hinduism rather than Buddhism, as in the film. There are also other significant small details that are not as obvious in the film as in the novel; for example, the effect of the Great Depression on Gray's family fortune and why he & Isabel must move to Paris and live with Uncle Elliot.
It would be a mistake to think of this movie as a sort of spiritual parallel to "Seven Years in Tibet". It's actually got more in common with the Great Gatsby. This isn't a story about a Westerner becomming turned-on by Eastern religion as much as it's a story about aristocratic Americans from Chicago living as expatriats in Paris in the years 1918-to-1930-something, (as seen through European eyes).
There are some fabulous acting performances in this film, foremost of which is Denholm Elliot in the role of Elliot Templeton (perhaps the best of his career). Bill Murray should have received on Oscar for his performance. Word on the street today is that what an incredible film "Lost in Translation" is, and how it shows a side of Bill Murray we haven't seen before, but I disagree. Those critics need to go back and have a look at "The Razor's Edge" and they will see that "serious" side of Murray, but in a much better-written and more moving story.
This DVD is a nice presentation: a 16x9 widescreen picture that looks good and the sound is fine as well. You won't be sorry you purchased it.
Most recent customer reviews
Great story, great performances, fabulous cinematography...a winning movie which should be seen by everyone who thinks about their own place in the Universe.Published 10 months ago by STEPHEN BEROFE
I'd already seen the Tyrone Power version of this book, and Bill Murray's version tells essentially the same story, but with a different point-of-view, and selecting different... Read morePublished on March 8 2013 by Arthur Waite
The Razor's Edge is the story of a man who could have had a life of
wealth,but decided he wanted more.he goes on a journey of self
discovery and enlightenment. Read more
Superb, unaffected and affecting all at once. I saw this film when it first came out, loved it, and never forgot it. I'm so glad it's available on DVD. Read morePublished on July 5 2007 by Rich
First off, I like Bill Murray. Unfortunately he simply doesn't have the acting talent to play this role. Read morePublished on June 7 2004 by Derek
Funny how every review is either 5 stars or 1. I guess you either get it or you don't.
I got it, obviously . . .
As a fan of the film, I was excited to learn that it had finally been released as a DVD that was "digitally mastered" and "remastered in high definition. Read morePublished on Jan. 25 2004
I cannot warn you AWAY from this film enough. Did Bill Murray even READ this book??? My god! This was a serious piece of work and Bill approached it like it was Caddyshack. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2003 by Alicia Walker