Watched Aug 20, 2012
Walter Andrade’s review:
In The Elephant Man, Lynch's second film, the visuals were far more important than the story itself. At least for me. His influences are clearly from the 40's and 50's, particularly from films like Robert Siodmak's The Killers and Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter.
The story is something pretty close to Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame but rather using as the protagonist a very strange creature that apparently has been stroke by a elephant when his mother was pregnant. However, this detail is never explicit and the interpretation that this is just the story Bytes has to tel to make his attraction more interesting is valid. Also, if this theory is right, it makes this story even closer to Victor Hugo's classic novel in which, if you remember, there is a priest (Claude Frollo) who takes care of Quasimodo and he creates a history about Quasimodo's origin to make him obedient.
This kind of history, personally, does not touches me that much. It raises the question about inside and outside beauty, which nowadays are quite old although not yet resolved.
But, fortunately, Lynch's talent is evident in every single frame of this film. The Elephant Man in my opinion is a great film specially because of it's direction. Everything is placed perfectly. That scene when the visitors come to he hospital to see John Merrick is one of that scenes capable of hunting you forever. The fitting of that impressive music with these harsh cuts that happens all the time and the euphoria that raises from the spectators of the horror show in that room is exactly what I'd call cinematic epiphany.
David Lynch holds up as one of the best directors I've ever seen and this movie is the proof that he does not need an excellent screenplay to create a fantastic film.