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'A Clockwork Orange' has finally found its audience, says Malcolm McDowell

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Veteran actor Malcolm McDowell says it took almost five decades for dystopian crime film, "A Clockwork Orange" to find the right audience.

The 75-year-old actor shot to fame by his portrayal of charismatic but antisocial delinquent Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick's 1972 directorial, which is based on Anthony Burgess' novel of the same name.

McDowell said today the cult hit is being understood for it was intended to be - a black comedy and a satire on society.

"When it first came out people watched it in stony silence. They were shocked by these new kinds of visuals... In the last 20 years, especially young people, see it for what it is: a black comedy. They laugh all the way through. So, finally, 'Clockwork' has found the audience we thought we were making the movie for," he told Dazed magazine.

In 1973, the movie was withdrawn from the release in the UK on the request of Kubrick following a number of copycat crimes committed in the country which were similar to the violent assaults depicted in the film, such as the beating of a vagrant man by Alex and his gang of "droogs".

The actor said the fact that violence on celluloid has reached its saturation point, "Clockwork" is like a "Disney movie" today.

"I think enough time has gone past that you know the violence on screen is saturated, you can't go any further. I think when Sam Peckinpah was making really violent movies, that was a slow-motion violence, a ballet. 'Clockwork' for this generation is like a Disney movie now," he said.

Malcolm said he while performing the role he never thought of the character as "evil", but added he is unsure if he holds any affection for Alex.

"I love all the characters I play. Even the horrendous ones, even the ones who are so despicable - they all had mothers, they were all babies - but Alex, I don't know. Alex is a dichotomy, isn't he?

"He's a guy who loves life. So you gotta love part of him, you gotta kinda love him because anyone who loves life like that - of course, at the expense of others - but, he has sort of mitigating circumstances," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 19 2019. 11:15 IST
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