Bonnie and Clyde is a film so influential, that it almost doesn’t feel remarkable; the cinematic mores it created are so commonplace today, it’s hard to appreciate them on a first watch. It took an after-movie trip to Wikipedia (a post-viewing ritual of mine) to realize the extent of its influence: Its depiction of violence and sex, technical achievements like editing-style and the use of squibs (tiny explosives mounted within costumes to simulate gunshots), and the ability to exist within different genres.
I did enjoy Bonnie and Clyde. Its pacing and setting reminded me of “No County for Old Men”, with occasional comedic flourishes to pep it up (shout-out to a surprise Gene Wilder cameo). Dunaway and Beatty we’re both hotties of their time (while Gene Hackman has always looked schleppy, I must say) and their interplay was amusing. The film must have been a trip for contemporary cinema-goers, with the actual Bonnie and Clyde exploits just 35 years before the film’s release.
While you might not get Godfather-level violence without this film, this film could have benefited from Coppola’s structure and character building. The film was about robbing banks in the Great Depression and yet I never really figured out why the characters were driven to this life. It felt weird that the most visited character arc involved Clyde conquering his impotence. And don’t tell me that’s some bullshit metaphor. 😂
Still, I liked the film; understanding its influence is just icing on the cake.