The real surprise came after finishing this movie.
“What!? This is based on a true story!”
This movie is named amongst the greatest and it has rightly got that honour. Two things first got my attention: the visuals and the soundtrack. The movie delivers one gorgeous set-piece after another. No wonder so many great directors called this one a ‘miracle’. And the soundtrack was the perfect complement to the scenes. The movie might seem a bit of a drag to some but those who recognize art will enjoy every second of it. This is a long movie that runs a full 228 minutes, but frankly speaking this couldn’t get shorter. This movie reminded me of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in many ways. Both are epic works of art. Both are quite long. Both feature extensive landscapes. And both give importance to all the little things. It is evident when The Lawrence of Arabia, T. E. Lawrence travels across the Nefud Desert, with fifty other men, led by a sceptical Sherif Ali. Usually with other movies it’s just the beginning and the end, and sometimes the main journey if something really interesting happens. This sequence shows, in great detail the hardships these men had to undertake. The movie beautifully brings the viewer right into the desert, with the characters. You could almost feel the harsh sun and the desolate environment there. This is just one of those things that separate these movies from the rest.
Lawrence was played by Peter O’Toole who plays his role brilliantly as said by some people. I didn’t feel that way actually. This is the first movie of such high standards where I felt the acting was simply, weak. Even so, Omar Sharif plays the role of Sherif Ali, the Arab friend and comrade of TE Lawrence during his Arab campaigns and is my favourite character in this film. But like I said, the acting in this movie was unimpressive.
The movie portrays TE Lawrence during his pivotal role in the Arab Rebellion against the Ottoman Turks during the First World War. But it’s not only that. The movie shows the many layers of Lawrence’s character, and his dual allegiance to the British and his newfound Arab friends. War scars a man for life and this movie dwells into the great mental toll the war had taken on Lawrence. The directors did a terrific job in this respect and is the chief reasons why this movie is so great.
A great score, superb storytelling and gorgeous set pieces make this movie a rare achievement. All this, with just the right ending,
Some historical background