The Kid

The Kid ★★★★½

Never considered amongst the finest films of the great Charlie Chaplin, The Kid is a minor film in Chaplin’s filmography but deeply moving comedic drama about the Tramp, in his first full length feature, developing a relationship with an orphaned child, and growing to care for him over the years.

Chaplin provides what is a very basic premise but the music, the performances and the striking visual imagery that Chaplin presents with this film make The Kid a film that is hard to forget and one with complex human emotion that is impossible to overlook. As said in the film’s opening title cards, the film promises to bring forth a tear the eyes of the viewers and it successfully does.

Charlie Chaplin’s direction, acting, writing and music are equally perfect in one of the most effortlessly moving human dramas ever created. A very simple concept told in a predictable manner, lacking any twists and turns, but what is most startling about this film is the various opposing emotions it induces from its viewers. Chaplin was notorious for making audiences laugh and cry at the same time, The Kid achieves just does. More subtle and cleverer in its slapstick humour than his esteemed masterpiece, City Lights, The Kid blends comedy and drama to stunning perfection.

There is one specific scene Chaplin’s The Kid that is one of the greatest movie moments ever and actually lacks the presence of Chaplin’s Tramp character. Edna Purviance, having abandoned her own son, regrets her decision and begins to take up charity services for children. Amidst one of these, she sees her now growing son and the two share a moment of love and affection, neither realizing who the other is. It’s a simple concept within a simple film that works so beautifully that it remains as subtle as it is powerful.

Witnessing The Kid for a second time was hardly a mistake. Much like modern blockbuster films like Inception that require repeat viewings to gain a more sufficient understanding of the themes and ideas, so too does Chaplin’s The Kid- its moving and funny, and needless to say, one of the greatest motion pictures ever created.

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