Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Birds - Boon or Bane ?

(First Pic: Actress, Tippi Hedren.  Second Pic: Poster of the movie.)
Hello bloggers hope this finds you all in the pinnacle of whatever you all do!

Today I would like to blog about a Classic movie "The Birds" by master of mystery and suspense, the late Alfred Hitchcock.

Based upon the thrust of the theme of the movie, I would like to dedicate this note to the greatest ornithologist of India, Mr. Salim Ali aka as "the Birdman of India!"

To begin with let us dwelve into the obvious fact, i.e. human psychology is an interesting and complex study.

Equally interesting is the study of co-creations of his world-the animals and birds.
Birds have millions and millions of species and sub-species with its origins being traced to the pre-historic creature, Archaeopteryx.

The movie, "Birds" directed by Alfred Hitchcock runs on the time-tested themes of human psychology and his attitude towards other "lesser-creatures."

It stars the then debutante, Tippi Hedren ( mother of actress,Melaine Griffith) .She was a classic beauty who could give any contemporary actress a run for her money had she been in her prime.
She portrays the role of Melanie Daniels, the dashing and outspoken daughter of a rich newspaper owner in NewYork.

The story as many of you would know takes off when the second lead character of a gentleman named Mitchell Brennor arrives at a bird-shop to buy a pair of Love-birds for his sister essayed in the role of Cathy Brennor on her 11th Birthday.

Here he has a chance meeting with Tippi as she is a freind of the lady who owns the shop. Her unputdownable attitude towards life convinces her of giving Mr. Brennor a surprise by delivering the birds at his doorstep along with a message-note!

Upon not finding our hero in his appartment at the city, she heads for his summer- retreat home at Bodega Bay in the countryside.

Thereafter, alittle bit of inquiring at the general store leads her to the place where the Birthday girl's Schoolteacher, Miss. Annie Hayworth resides.
After brushing up the details about the Brennor family from her, She delivers the cage of the lovebirds at their doorstep.

While coming out of the house through the backdoor and taking the boat which she used to ferry herself across the river leading to the house on the other end, she is seen by our hero!

Her trauma and distress starts when she is literally attacked by a sea-gull with the creature cutting across her head with its razor-sharp claws while she is ferrying herself tro the other end.

Luckily, Mr. Mitchell Brennor comes to her rescue and nurses her with the first aid he can lay his hands upon in the general store.This "incident'' becomes the talk of the quiet little town.

As days go by, this town is seen at the recieving end of mass-attacks by "Sea-Gulls and Crows"

They make the townfolk run helter and skelter for fear of their lives!
Our hero's mother had, Mrs. Brennor had in the meantime witnessed the ghastly death scene of one of her freinds in his home with piercing marks, bruises all over his body and with his eyes perforated. There were dead birds strewn all over the room.

How they( the townfolk) react and respond to yhese attacks is to be seen...
The birds surely prove menacing than anything anyone could possibly ask for!

Hitchcock's franchise if viewed from the apparent level makes it a tale of suspense, thrills, mystery and macabre abound!

On an analytical level, it throws light on human beings preparedness to face any disaster-natural or artificial.

Also we get to see human psychology with corresponding body language through the mannerisms and tone of dialogue of the different characters.

Human attitudes are vividly shown in the scene when Tippi converses with he girl's Schoolteacher(where she stays for the night) and finds out that Mrs. Brennor, Mother of our hero is a possesive, obssesed woman who suspects every woman coming into her son's life(This was shown in the portrayal of the mother of Norman Bates in Hitchock's earlier production,'Psycho.')

As for Tippi Hedren's role, she is the thread of the story and is shown in a typecast portrayal of a rich and pretty blonde who in this case, is not only pretty but has the presence of mind to use her intelligence when needed.

Her profile needs her to be associated with Page-3 socialising of the Rich and Famous circles.

From Technological level, the birds when shown attacking humans look unconvincing with only close shots of the creatures shown biting the fingers of their victims appearing real . But considering the timeline of the production, and with the amount of special effects available at hand, it was an enviable ''concept-execution.''

Alfred Hitchcock's characters are essayed as having an aura of mystery around them.

All said and done, well folks, I am raring to watch the newest adaptation of this classic with Australian beauty, Naomi Watts playing the lead. Till then, comparisons are bound to occur.

Keep watching and commenting!
Peace to all.
This is a picture of Australian actress, Naomi Watts:

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