(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)
(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)
SW SCORE: 37
4 out of 5 🐙
Alfie completely surprised me. I knew it was about a philanderer who has serious events shake his lifestyle. This is not a new plot. It has been done many times. But what I didn’t expect was to see (a very young!) Michael Caine (the titular philanderer) breaking the 4th wall more often than Frank Underwood in an episode of House of Cards (back when we could watch that show). But Alfie does talk to the audience. In fact, he might talk to the audience much more than he talks to the characters he interacts with. The dialogue is intensely misogynistic (I’m old and jaded and even I raised my eyebrows at some – many – of the lines). I get that it was the 60s and you have to adjust for the time period and they were writing a creep for that era so he had to be really rough. Caine is almost charming enough to get away with his terrible worldview and mean actions but not quite enough and I think that’s an intentional acting and directing choice. It’s an impressive feat in and of itself. Alfie is such a hyperaware character. He’s aware of all the characters in the movie and of the people watching the movie. But, of course, the one character he has no awareness of for 99% of the movie, is himself. Don’t hope for a definitive ending. But expect one that will leave you wanting to talk about it.
(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.
(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)
(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so
(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)