Alfie (Widescreen Collector's Edition) (2004)
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ALFIE (WIDESCREEN SPECIAL COLLECTO MOVIE
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Top Customer Reviews
That's a good thing because this version with Jude Law seems to show the character himself is not dated and all that was needed was to update the women in his life. This is where the extras are a great help as they intersperse the stories of both the 1966 movie and this one to give you a great idea of how each is every so slightly different. I will say one thing: The women in this one are all babes (Marisa Tomei, Nia Long, Jane Krakowski, Sienna Miller and Susan Sarandon) unlike the 1966 one which seemed to focus on the homely rather than the dropdead gorgeous.
Maybe that was the point in 1966 but as far as a moviegoer I want my eye candy!
The movie was much more than I expected. It starts off with Law as the usual playboy type and evolves into something much deeper, very contemporary and gives you far more insight into relationships without devolving into some sort of lame wimpy chick flick.
It's also a very hip and cool looking movie from Alfie's Vespa to Sarandon's pad to Sienna Miller's tres hip 21st century NYC girl cool.
In the end it's Jude Law who pulls the whole thing off with just the right smile or offhand comment that hits the mark in the delivery.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Alfie is a commit-o-phobic playboy who lives a carefree, day-to-day life. Carpe Diem would be his mantra that he lives by. He certainly has no trouble picking up women, so many may ask what the "problem" is. Of course, the problem is that Alfie himself ends up asking this very question.
Well, the issue is that his decisions have an effect on other people, and frequently these effects are negative. Alfie is kind of like an octopus that has his tentacles wrapped around the lives of other persons, and the negative repurcussions of his sometimes rash decisions eventually come back to drown the octopus.
One of the most favorable aspects of the movie is the inclusion of Sienna Miller. She is an up-and-coming star who has grabbed my attention. She is a lovely young woman, and she also has genuine acting skills and a very credible screen-presence. In the current film she plays a sort of Britney Spears type of woman; drop dead gorgeous, but unpredictable, volatile and emotionally unstable. She's brought to mind a great many women I've known in my own life!!
The weakest part of the cast, for me, was Susan Sarandon. I know she has a lot of fans & followers and admirers and that's all good & well. It's just that, in truth, she's never moved me. In the present film she's supposed to be an older woman who is still a goddess post-50. For me, this doesn't really "work" as I've never thought that Sarandon was that hot to begin with. Her acting doesn't really make up the ground for the non-believability of her pulling off this particular role. Again, this is my opinion.
A lot of people are bound to find this film boring. To be sure, there is not a lot of "action" in it. The film is very subtle and is focused on relationships. It's quite introspective, with Alfie frequently going off on Shakespearesque soliloquies. Many people may not find this appealing (and some may even find it archaic), but I enjoy these types of films.
Like a lot of latter day remakes, this is very much a prettified version of the original. All of Law's conquests have model good looks- as does Law himself, for that matter. He's also a good deal more refined, in accent and in manners, unlike Caine's rather crude Cockney. He moves about in beautiful surroundings. And that loses an essential element of the setting of the novel. Alfie did not live in a beautiful world, and his conquests were not necessarily beautiful women; in large part they were women whom someone else desired- and that was what compelled him to seduce them.
Caine's (and the novel's) Alfie exploited weak women; for whatever reason, the director, or perhaps the producers, decided this Alfie's conquests had to be modern, strong women who use him as much as he uses them. That of course makes Alfie a good deal less of a cad; Jude Law's Alfie is not leaving behind the wrecked lives that Caine's did, and he becomes almost sympathetic at one point- a sentiment completely absent in the book and the original movie.
In the end, this version misses the essential Alfie- his inability to recognize flaws in himself, even as he rationalizes his actions and convinces himself that he's doing the right thing. The result is a shallow character study completely lacking the depth and impact of the original.