19 August 2012 | Bribaba
Trotsky Goes Ape
There aren't too many whimsical comedies with a Trotskyite sub text, so for that alone let us give thanks, but there's a whole lot more to enjoy here. Vanessa Redgrave for one, looking wonderful as the posh girl who dumps her eccentric husband in favour of stability, shows a real gift for light comedy, Karel Reisz's direction is always inventive and makes good use of inserts from King Kong and Tarzan, and then there's the world's most wonderful couple: Arthur Mullard and Irene Handl.
Warner's performance as Morgan depends how you feel about children who refuse to grow up, though he does become more sympathetic eventually. The Trotsky element comes from writer David Mercer, a renowned playwright and communist of the day and though class figures prominently in the film, it is never didactic. The screenplay is based on a TV play he'd wrote and in a unusual reversal of roles was watered down somewhat for the cinema. The ending turns into the full-blown surrealism that always threatened and there's a great, almost-last line from the Morgan himself: "I've gone all furry".