“My Fair Lady” will have you pay the ticket fare twice to watch it again
By James Adhitthana, A.K.A. “Newbie Critiques”
Everyone might have been involved in a bet at least once in their life. That bet could have involved a lot of money or put things or people you love at stake. This movie covers an interesting bet that might get you to consider if this bet is real and if the people involved are even sane. This amazing story is made into musical which actually resurrected an older story and puts life and color to the original story of Pygmalion created by George Bernard Shaw originally in 1912. “My Fair Lady” covers the journey of a professor’s bet on successfully converting a lower class girl ignored and look down upon by the society so that she can be upgraded into a higher class in the society and be accepted.
Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) is a poor young woman from the streets of London from the year in the 1900s. Just like any other person in her social class, she really want to get a real job so that she could really work to earn real money. But everyone knows that it is impossible for people from her type of social status to get a better job. Citizens with a higher social status just view them as annoying people with a harsh and weird accent and a burden plus shame to the community. Little does she knows that she is going to meet the person which would transform her life forever.. Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison), a language expert and currently on a bet with the Colonel on transforming someone from a lower social class into a higher social class successfully comes to the rescue. The journey begins and after a while (which is just a couple of minutes in the movie) she began to transform into a new person. By a new person, it really means that she has a different way of talking, a new appearance and even a new personality. But the true test is about to come, presenting herself to the royal family is the ultimate test to see if she can survive her new lifestyle without people doubting her.
The role for Eliza Doolittle is perfectly performed by the legendary actress, Audrey Hepburn. She has the looks, the voices, and the skills that blows the competition away. The makeup department for the movie also did an amazing job in transforming her looks to portray a poor looking girl coming from a poor background. She played all the accents consistently well and she was really confident in playing her characters, even when playing acting poor she was really convincing. She might have even outperformed Rex Harrison in the acting department. Rex Harrison also performed Professor Henry Higgins marvelously throughout the movie. Rex created a unique personality for the character he is playing and created a dynamic nuance to the scenes he played on. Rex Harrison’s personality he created for Professor Higgins was so unique that imitators of his character start popping up (such as Stewie from Family Guy). Colonel Hugh Pickering which was played by Wilfrid Hyde-White was also pretty significant role in the movie. Wilfrid played the role perfectly and he also has the perfect look that Colonels generally have. Other characters that appear on the show other than Colonel Hugh Pickering (played by Wilfrid Hyde-White) was insignificant to the story however they contributed in the dance and musical, and for a bunch of extras they are pretty talented.
The movie had an excellent and clear storyline progression from the beginning until the end. Not only that but this movie is also a musical which multiplies the fun factor by ten. The musical moments in the movie was pretty random at first, but it follows the same pattern and gradually it gets pretty guessable when people will sing. The filmmakers might have even gone overboard on the musical department and put most of their money to that area because the musical scenes was an average of at least five minutes long. Also in every musical there were approximately more than twenty-five people present singing and dancing at the same time. The filmmakers might have blown all the money away for singing and dancing that it seems that they might have ignored the story department. The singing and dancing was fun but the characters other than Eliza and Professor Higgins felt so insignificant and lacks a rich story and background. Even Colonel Hugh lacked detail even though he was one of the most influential character in the story. Aside of the negatives, the acting was brilliantly done by Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. I think Audrey Hepburn really took the stage and gave her best on this movie. I love the scene where Eliza was undergoing her transition and the phrase “How do you do” was pronounced very convincingly that it really sounded like she just learned a new language.
Even though it is a musical, this film has reminded me about the things I used to ignore before and even surprised me about things I never really believed possible. First it has reminded me that prejudice towards people of a lower social class happens everywhere. The fact that one person has a different appearance and a different sounding harsher accent can get her treated differently and get her put into a different social class. It seems like this movie is trying to make us realize that language is an identity marker. I think that by watching the movie, viewers can understand how to respect people more and that there can be less prejudice.
Astonishingly, this movie is old enough that the PG rating wasn’t even invented yet. This movie has an APPROVED rating on it which means that it is a classical musical which should be appropriate for the whole family to watch. However this movie seems to be targeting an audience which are adults or people who have an interest in language study such as language learners or language teachers. Even though the movie is a musical, the language used in the movie is too sophisticated for children to understand and that the total movie itself is three hours long. Also this movie might be a turn off for young people from this generation because of the excessive random singing, boring dialog topics that doesn’t really matter anymore and lack off heart pumping action scenes. My final verdict is that this movie deserves an amazing three out of five stars or in my dictionary a handshake of appreciation of exceptional work. So I recommend the people on the list above to watch the movie (that is if you can find the DVD anywhere anymore).
-NOTE: This is an assignment that I did for my English B: HL Homework – I am not a professional movie reviewer.