The Plural of Mouse is Mice

The Plural of Spouse must be Spice.

The 1960s was a golden age of Hollywood movies. In this period we saw some of the best movies, which won the Oscar awards like, To kill a mockingbird, How west was won, Godfather, Psycho, Guns of Navarone, many more and Charly is one of them.

“Charly” was released on 23 September 1968. Directed by Ralph Nelson and is based on the novel “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes.

A mentally challenged young man named Charly Gordon is very friendly and good-natured; he enjoys playing with children at the playground. He works in the Bakery as a janitor and is struggling to survive in the world, his co-workers ridicule him all the time but still, they are his best friends. However, he has a strong desire to make himself smarter. He attended night school in Boston for two years. His frequent attempts of learning, reading, and writing under his teacher Miss Alice Kinnian, prove worthless.

One day his teacher takes Charly to the Clinic where two doctors examine him and decide to carry out an IQ test. Part of the test is a “race” between a mouse named “Algernon” and Charly. They put Algernon at the start point of the puzzle and at the finish put some food and Algernon knows that he has to find his way through the puzzle if he wants to get to the food. Doctors hand over a diagram to Charly, which is exactly the same as Algernon’s puzzle. However, he has to draw by pencil from start to finish. He starts at the same time Algernon does. Doctors will see who goes through first. Unfortunately, every time Algernon beats him and all the time Charly is disappointed. Moreover, Doctors find that Charly’s performance IQ is only 59

Being upset Charly says he did not know that mice are so smart and feels he is dumber than a mouse. 

 Miss Alice Kinian tells Charly that, Algernon was once a retarded mouse, but now he was a winner due to experiments carried out by these scientists, which has greatly increased its intelligence, and now doctors are almost ready for the human trials. They are ready to choose someone now that is why they had all the tests upon you. Miss Alice Kinian explains everything about this experiment and persuades him for his brain surgery. Charly is ready to undergo surgery. 

Accordingly, a team of two extraordinary scientists Dr. Richard Nemur (Leon Janney) and Dr. Anna Straus (Lilia Skala) carry out the surgery.

However, even after surgery, it does not seem to have an immediate improvement in the Charly.

Charly is frustrated, and shows off his anger by riding on a bike with a colorful dress and hair wig, when he returns home he finds the cage of Algernon placed in his room. It makes him annoyed but his landlady Miss Apple tells him that pet keeps you company. They are loyal and loving. A little animal is one of God's creatures.

 Gradually he blows past his average IQ and Charly becomes an intelligent person.

Once Charly gives an example to illustrate the importance of proper punctuation to Miss Alice Kinian and asks her to punctuate it.

That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is

Miss Alice Kinian says it does not make sense, but she is surprised when within no second Charly punctuates it. By seeing this wonderful improvement in Charly, she was happy to say “students surpass the teacher”.

Miss Alice Kinian and charly became very close to each other, as she is always there for him through the process. Sooner Charly falls in love with his Teacher Miss Alice Kinian. Moreover, she is also emotionally involved in him. Charly proposes her to marry him.

Later, doctors who had performed surgery on Charly, present him in a conference of distinguished scientists. In addition, explains the aspects of the Algernon-Gordon effect. Showing the entire graph of Algernon's various stages. With a film, study of Charly Gordon right from when he came to the clinic. In addition, the scientist reciprocates him and questions to test Charly’s intelligence. Eventually, Charly comes to know the truth of the experiment, that the success of the operation is only temporary. Emotional consequences are raised in the mind of Charly and he asks the doctors why they did not inform him about it earlier.

Finally, Miss Alice Kinian asks Charly to marry her but he refuses and asks her to leave his home.

Once again, Charly is playing and enjoying with children on the playground.

There is a scene in the movie which is extremely heartbreaking.

When Charly and his friends from the bakery are at a beer bar they want to make fun of him. Even though there is no sign of a blizzard, they tell him that there will be a blizzard so before it starts, we have to get home in town. So you go outside and as soon as the first flake falls, give us a call. He innocently runs outside and stands below the lamppost waiting for a flake to fall.  A police van comes and asks him what he is doing; he replies “waiting for it to snow”. The police car pulls away calling him “stupid”. Charly stands in the dark, below the lamppost for a long time and goes home with a sad heart thinking that he has been fooled.

The film belongs to (Charly) Cliff Robertson who won an Oscar for Best Actor in 1968.

Cliff Robertson has delivered a brilliant performance as a mentally retarded man and genius scientist post-operation.

Alice Kinian (Claire Bloom), and scientists Dr. Richard Nemur (Leon Janney) and Dr. Anna Straus (Lilia Skala). has also done well.

Director: Ralph Nelson

Music is by Ravi Shankar, later Ravi Shankar’s name is preceded by the title Pandit (Master). He is a legendary sitar player and Indian musician and a composer of Hindustani classical music. He has been honored with “Bharat Ratna” in 1999 for India’s highest civilian honor.

Overall, this movie is worth watching

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