The Reasons That Make the Film Artful
In The Gold Rush, it is told the adventures of a prospector. The tramp (Charles Chaplin) travels to Alaska in order to search for gold but he is starved and encounters two men, three of them are very hungry and look for food meanwhile, he experiences both tragic and funny events. Then, he falls in love with a saloon girl, Georgia and thinks that she loves him too. After various adventures, at the end of the film, he obtains both money and love of Georgia.
I think it is a great Silent Era film because of its theme and successful structure. Silent Era films generally have themes about social issues like poverty, immigration and women’s suffrage. I like The Gold Rush because, while it gives general social messages about the 1898 Gold Rush to Alaska, it also contains a personal melodrama. The film criticizes the Gold Rush, shows us dying people, suffers and starvations. Besides, we witness how lonely the tramp is. He searches for a place to be protected from cold in the beginning. In addition to this, I think, the most memorable scene that pictures his desolation is that when he stands in front of the window of the saloon and watches enjoying people.
Thanks to its successful structure, the film presents us this criticism and personal melodrama being in harmony with humor. For example, Chaplin tells the starvation in such a way that we both feel pity and laugh. He cooks his boat, serves and eats heartily and Big Jim is so hungry that he begins to see Chaplin as a chicken. These scenes make the film unforgettable. Maybe, the reason of this coexisting humor and drama is that because it is a silent film, the facial expressions and body language should be foreground and these characteristics fix comedy best. I think the other reason of coexisting humor and drama is the tramp character. As Koenig states in his article, the Little Tramp had already been famous when the film was made so viewers had known him very well...