Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard
Director: Arthur Penn
Running Time: 111 mins
Bonnie And Clyde is an American film about the notorious bandit couple who committed a series of violent bank robberies across the United States with their gang during the early 1930s.
This is both a gritty and enjoyable crime story. Based on the true story of this outlaw couple, this film creates a very exciting and violent plot that’s largely thrilling to follow, whilst it also turns two clear villains into extremely likeable anti-heroes.
One of the most interesting thing about this film is that it was one of the first high-profile movies released after the fall of the restrictive Hollywood Production Code, meaning that it really could be a lot darker and more immoral, and the ability to go wild with that freedom clearly shows here, because it truly is a film that holds up well against the heavier standards of today.
The main way in which this is a gritty film is in its violence. From start to finish, it’s pretty graphic stuff, and not taken lightly either. The more evident violence, however, is extremely effective, because it really shines the light on how immoral these bandits were, not only robbing banks and escaping all over the USA, but also toying with, and on occasions even taking, people’s lives whenever they were up to anything.
It’s that depiction of immorality that is the darkest part of this film, and the main reason that you are ever able to side against Bonnie and Clyde, who, for the most part, are properly supportable characters, despite being violent outlaws.
That’s by far the most impressive thing about this film, the fact that our main characters are so likeable. Under the Production Code, this would never really have been allowed, because it’s totally immoral to support these sorts of people, or to even attempt to portray them in a positive light.
However, this film shows the outlaws as a couple in love for the majority of the story, and although there are moments where we see how villainous they really are, the excellent chemistry between Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty makes Bonnie and Clyde an absolute joy to watch together on screen, and their positivity and strength in remaining together through thick and thin is what makes you like and support them so much (as well as that dark little part of you that wants to be an outlaw just like them too).
The only place that this film suffers is in its pacing. On the whole, it’s quite an exciting film to follow, but it takes some breaks from the adventures of the criminals that just go on too long, and somewhat ruin the thrill of the chase a little.
Overall, this gets a 7.5, because it is a very entertaining and fun crime movie with likeable anti-heroes that also takes a grittier and darker look at the immorality of the notorious bandits’ crimes at their height.