Charlie Chaplin Film Analysis

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Modern times, set in the time of “The Great Depression” of 1930s, written and directed by Charlie Chaplin, is deemed as one of the most “culturally significant” movies of all time. Charlie Chaplin once again reprised the role of his iconic character “The Little tramp”. The film is famed for its portrayal of a socially relevant theme in a humorous and satirical way. The world we live in had undergone a tremendous change in the late eighteenth century. There was a complete turnaround of events in the lives of the public. Many sociologists attribute the process of “great transformation” for this mayhem caused in the society. There was a massive change in social, economic, technological and intellectual life of people which triggered this…show more content…
Henry ford pioneered a notion of a modern economic and social system based on an industrialized and standardized form for mass production called Fordism. Capitalism initiated this concept for their mass manufacturing of goods. Workers were exploited under this new system of production. They were forced to live a mechanised and synchronised life. Sabotage pilfering and absenteeism were a regular phenomenon. In the film we can see Chaplin subjected to an assembly line production where he screws nuts at an ever increasing speed. He finally suffers from nervous breakdown from this monotonous way of life. Same lifestyle and work pressure can drive any person mad. He is termed as a lunatic and sent to mental asylum. Workers didn’t knew what they produced. They were only concerned about their wages. The wages de personalised the relation between employer and employee turning worker into an abstract labour in pursuit of profit. Employers engaged in observation of production in order to check inefficiency. The introduction of the “Bellows feeding machine” shows us their admiration towards automation and technological advancements. Chaplin’s antics with the feeding machine is deemed as one of the most famous scene in cinematic history. However when the machines working get awry and Chaplin is attacked with food and mechanical arms, the inventors were much concerned about machine efficiency rather than Chaplin’s inconvenience. This shows us that human emotions were given less priority than machine’s practicality. Industrialisation widen the gap between social classes. There was a clear demarcation between working class and upper class. A stark contrast is depicted in a scene in which boss enjoys his time in his spacious office while the workers are forced to work in a crowded assembly line production.
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