Friday, 7 March 2014

Best Christopher Walken Monologues

Everyone knows about Christopher Walken. As he has admitted himself, his physical and vocal tones are perfect for weirdos and misfits. There is nothing more creepy than Walken's drifting, almost unconscious, stream of speech. Unlike the booming tones of Al Pacino (another monologue maestro), the Walkenators approach is more subtle, often hovering over a single phrase with lecherous discomfort. Here are my favourites from his long career.

Annie Hall
Dwayne is not a happy fella, not even Woody Allen can cheer him up. He confesses to having suicidal thoughts while driving, something which comedian Alvy Singer is meant to appreciate as an 'artist'. Allen must have seen the potential of a young Walken to cast him in this minor role. Not to be outdone by his junior novice, Allen concludes the scene with a beautifully morose one-liner.

Seven Psychopaths
Martin McDonagh's follow-up to In Bruges is a criminally underrated film. In this moving speech an aging Quaker describes his alternative ending to the protagonist's violent screenplay. Despite the obvious humour - or perhaps because of it - Walken's calm narration gives the moment a haunting poignancy. Also, I like the way he pronounces 'immolation'.

Pulp Fiction
When Tarantino was at his best the writer's prose bettered Shakespeare, Chekhov and Miller all combined. Of the many Pulp Fiction story strands, Butch's flashback featuring Captain Koons is by far the best. For me, it is Walken's finest hour. If that watch ever found its way on the internet who knows how much it would be worth? I don't think it would smell nice, though.

Catch Me if You Can
"Where you going, Frank?" What a heartbreaking question! The master says it all with his eyes. Leo Di Caprio can do nothing except accept his defeat gracefully because this scene is dominated by his on-screen Dad. Unbelievable acting. You can see why Frank Abegnale chooses to deceive everyone for so long (but which one?).

Fatboy Slim
Who says you need a voice to perform a monologue? In this classic clip Walken's feet do all the talking. I defy you not to smile.


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