Thursday, January 15, 2009

Elderly Man: Where's Harvey? Jimmy Stewart: Harvey has a cold and is back at home.

At the request of a dear friend, Ms. Shaw, for more reviews I am taking this one out of the wood works. I watched Harvey a while ago and kept it in my notebook for this precise purpose. I will focus on Jimmy Stewart’s character, Elwood P. Dowd, and just my reaction to him in general.

Stewart has an introduction before the film begins where he informs the viewer about his time working on Harvey and his experiences with the processes from stage to screen. As Harvey was a stage play before it was a film, Jimmy had the pleasure of playing Elwood P. Dowd on both mediums. He said that once he was doing a matinee show and there was little boy in the first few rows and as the play progressed he watched the child grow increasingly antsy. By the middle of the second act the child stood up from his seat and yelled at Jimmy, “Where’s the rabbit?” When I heard Jimmy saying this I was slightly baffled about why people wouldn’t just accept that Harvey existed as long as he exists for Elwood P. Dowd. But to my surprise I found out that more then one person feel this way about Harvey and get frustrated as they can’t get their heads around that you can’t see the rabbit throughout the whole film.

Now I’ve never had an imaginary friend, although I know people who have, mostly as children but have had one nonetheless. And I what I can’t get my head around is just why people wont tolerate this occurrence in someone’s personality. Now my tune my change if I had to deal with it directly, I am sure, but for now I will just entertain this idea as a third party. If I would be dealing with Elwood P. Dowd, not as character in a film but as one in my life I would be confused as to why anyone would want to rob him of something that makes him as pleasant as he is. Elwood P. Dowd is one of the most genuinely nice characters I’ve ever encountered in cinema and I think this should be measured against him as a person not the fact he has a imaginary friend.

Aside from this Jimmy Stewart is just a gem per usual. It’s stunning how well this man can charm the viewer even when playing a thirty-year old plus man with an imaginary seven foot rabbit for a friend. It’s incredible that despite the babbling man most people parody Stewart for, he has a bumbling magnificence that not one actor can duplicate in cinemas history and this is demonstrated in Harvey. This film was just a joy to watch and if you are a long time fan of Stewart or just getting to know him this film satisfies fully.


Anonymous said...

You keep this genius-ocity coming.

Anonymous said...

Oh, also, I STILL have an imaginary friend.

Also this reminded me that I have a great story to tell you about Alan Arkin that I think you should post one day.

Amanda Ondretti said...

I love to hear the story man. LEt me know when you have the chance.