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Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Razor's Edge (1984)


The path to enlightenment

'The Razor's Edge' - Bill Murray ('Groundhog Day') makes an unforgettable dramatic debut as Larry Darrell, the free-spirited seeker, in this gripping adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's classic novel. When Larry returns from World War I disillusioned with Jazz Age values, he undertakes a quest which leads him to reject his rich fiancee (Catherine Hicks, TV's '7th Heaven') and his superficial lifestyle to go search for truth in the Himalayas. But Larry learns that the path to enlightenment is as difficult as treading "the sharp edge of a razor" and returns to civilization, where he tastes life's dark side when he tries to save a hometown girl turned prostitute (Theresa Russell, 'Wild Things').

Much has been written and documented about what has now become known as "The Lost Generation".These were the the American upper crust who,being disillusioned after "The War to End All Wars",World War 1, struggled vehemently in many ways to find meaning to their lives upon returning to peacetime America.Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald,Ernest Heningway are among some of the most famous authors to write on the shallow and meaningless existence of their society, and Somerset Maugham did the same in his THE RAZOR'S EDGE.

This 1984 adaptation of Maugham's 1940's novel really captures the essence of the intense inner and outer struggles that the wealthy and privileged of that generation had to endure.Lots of hopes and expectations were radically altered in what seemed like an instant after the War,and either the rich retuned to what they had known before in their upper stations in society,a pampered,opulent,insular and quite predictable road, or they turned to an existential journey that frequently lead down the path to ultimate ruin due to alcohol and opium in Bohemian society of Paris, or to travel to Greece, India or Tibet to find "God".No matter which path was chosen,whether opting for life back in the comforts of American wealth ( eventually ruined at The Great Depression),or "mind-expanding"wandering from the streets to the Temples, each group found it treacherous to walk "the razor's edge" and survive it all. By KerrLines

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