Review: Zelig

Director: Woody Allen
Year: 1983
Score: 6.5/10

Fascinating Woody Allen film is one of the earliest mockumentaries (preceding This Is Spinal Tap by a year). The premise is ripe for satire and comedy: Allen is a human chameleon who takes on the physical properties of people around him as a psychological disorder borne out of an intense desire to fit in and be liked. While it’s very funny at times, somehow it feels like a missed opportunity given the richness of the premise. It also feels overlong despite being only 79 minutes; perhaps it would have worked better as a short film rather than a feature (the trivia section on IMDb claims Allen’s first cut ran only 45 minutes and he added more to fill up the time; this doesn’t surprise me, and I’d rather have watched the 45 minute version).

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