Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Film Review: Mogambo (1953)
Mogambo tells the story of Victor and the love triangle that occurs at his ranch is South Africa. Victor (Clarke Gable) runs a company that traps native African animals in order to sell them to zoos and circuses. He returns one day to find Eloise Kelly (Ava Gardener) has arrived, expecting to visit the maharaja, the company's formal owner who has invited her a stay. Eloise finds she has missed him and cannot leave for India until the next boat arrives a week later. During this week, Victor and Eloise have a casual fling, with Eloise falling in love with him. She decides to leave regardless when the boat turns up with a couple there to research gorillas. Eloise leaves, but later returns as her boat is shipwrecked and will take weeks to repair. She is eventually allowed along on the trip under the condition that she gets a boat from a neighboring village. Once they arrive at the village, they find it has been taken over by the natives and Eloise has to accompany them on the full trip. Linda Nordley (Grace Kelly) is scared and does not take to jungle life as well as her anthropologist husband, Donald (Donald Sinden). Victor is attracted to Linda and wants to protect her, much to the disdain of Eloise. Here ensues a love triangle building up to an unavoidable climax.
I really enjoyed this, the story is such a classic love triangle and has emotion in all the right places. I find films like this to have that real sense of escapism where is it easy to fall into their affair-ridden lives. The characters are great, especially Ava Gardener as Eloise. She's smart and sassy; she seems to be a more 'modern' woman than the sheltered Linda.
I really felt that this film had a good dose of African culture in it, I love the footage of the animals in their native land and the inclusion of a range of tribes. I really feel that this adds to the mis-en-scene of the piece and really emphasises the tag line 'Shot on safari in Africa!'. It gives a very authentic feel.
The only thing I felt let down by was the ending. It seemed to go against Eloise's strong nature which left me feeling a bit cheated and that Victor, the male, could have his own way as and when he chose.
I probably wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again but I think it was very enjoyable.