Finally after avoiding it for years, I watched Lawrence of Arabia in its entirety. I watched it on my 52” Toshiba HDTV. This movie will not work on a small screen – it has to be experienced on a large screen – the larger the better. I cannot imagine the effect it would have watching it on a 70 mm cinema screen. This is an epic movie and I must say the Columbia was quite brave in investing all that money in making a movie which is about a queer guy, 4 hours long, shot in a desert, no love story, no women and little action scenes. It’s David Lean’s imagination and vision which made this movie. The cinematography is actually instrumental in making you feel the vastness, the emptiness and the harshness of the desert. I cannot begin to imagine the logistics of the production of this classic. There couldn’t have been a better person to portray T.E.Lawrence than Peter O’Toole. He brings the necessary quirkiness to this mysterious person. I cannot think of Marlon Brando (who was approached for the role) as Lawrence. Although Dilip Kumar would have made a good Ali, Omar Sherif does an excellent job. It was a pleasant surprise to I.S. Johar as Gaasim.
If Lawrence of Arabia is ever shown on the big screen again, I have my 10 dollars set aside to experience it the way Lean intended it to be.