Oh what a tragedy that was not supposed to be there.
It's a kind of movie that you can call cult because there were many such kind of movies later. Where, a man or woman wants to redeem their career or try hard to look younger or anything like that. To name a few, I get "American Beauty" and that woman in "Requiem for a Dream" in my mind. Where people want to go back to their younger days and just want to start again.
Now, this not just the story of a woman trying to get young, it's also about a man who wants to make his career. It begins with this man, accidentally driving into this woman's mansion and just trying to act as a busy man. Now, as many other Billy Wilder movies, it starts as an accident that happens between two people, here it's between this writer and a middle aged woman. Now, that is where the film takes on, and that is the what gets us interested.
This movie has a fine performance by Joe (William Holden) and other actors but it is Norma Desmond (played by Gloria Swanson) that this film belongs to and wow, she has made it her own by bringing a certain kind of wicked insanity that is rare even in today. Yes, many have tried to emulate this kind of wicked emotion as done by Swanson, but I believe she was just great at it.
And hey, Gloria Swanson played out an near autobiographical role here as she had worked with Cecil DeMille in those silent pictures in true life and played that very character who just wants to get back to cameras. Wow, Billy Wilder has got the right woman as Norma Desmond.
You have to watch this movie for more than one reason, it is believable, intriguing and yes it has a kind of suspense that will make us sit and see who is that man and what he is up to?. The protagonist here is not that lady though, it's the man and this is his story. The writing is simple yet great and each scene is lit well and shot well so cinematography is good in here. The audio, yes it's mostly dialogue with the big background suspenseful score filling a few gaps, music is good too.
Having said all that, it's not my kind of drama and it is not my favourite yet. Though, I give it 4/5, I am not sure if I am going to sit through this movie one more time.