By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….
The film with the above title is one of the best comedy films ever produced. Released in 1963, it won a number of awards, though it was the first comedy film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, who was earlier known for producing drama films about social problems.
The film revolves round a group of strangers, who by chance found themselves in a situation where they went on an adventurous hunt to find 350,000 dollars. In the end, though the treasure was found, none of them could get the money. The suitcase containing money opens, while all 11 men were stranded on a fire escape in an old office building. The money floated down, where passers-by happily collected it.
All these events were shown in a comical way, which made it a very successful film of that era.
Now after a lapse of 57 years, I realise that it was not a comedy film. In fact the film deals with a very serious issue of present times, but presented to the people with a comic touch.
I am sure it is not just me, but many many other people would have found this comedy a very serious one.
Though the film was screened in 1963, and over half a century has passed since then, yet still the main theme of the film is fresh.
As I understand it, the main theme of the film is greed. It is the greed that forces people to do what under normal circumstances they would not. People set aside all their principles, ethical and social values and practices, just to get money. They start behaving in a queer and different way, when their goals of life change. Their changed behaviour when seen indifferently, appear comic to others.
However, the fact is that greed never brings real happiness, because it leads a few people to get what in fact does not belong to them.
Greed is not just of money only. It is for power too. Don’t we see most of the politicians acting in a comical manner, just to win some more public votes, leading them to the corridors of power.
There are politicians who kill millions of innocent people just to gain something. If we read history we find innumerable such instances where one group of people killed large numbers of people, just to occupy their natural resources and get benefit from them.
Not much time has passed since Europe and America were bringing scores of Africans as their slaves to work for them. The mass murders of Aborigines in Australia and of Red Indians are all part of human history. All this evidences the greed of human beings.
However, as the film reaches its climax we see none of them getting the money, which was ultimately reached by innumerable pedestrians.
I wonder if one day human history would show the climax of the film becoming a reality, and the next generations of the ill-fated nations, who suffered so much in past and present times, would find justice done.
Let’s not lose hope, because the climax of the film is near.
However still “IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD”.