Sunset Boulevard ★★★★★

obviously it's mesmerising on every level and is a true cinematic masterpiece that is rightfully considered one of the best films ever made, but what struck me most about this film, more than anything else is the empathy it shows norma. it showcases that this world broke her by making her feel like a star then destroying her by throwing her to the side in favour of newer younger prettier women. this idea that she's still this star she was touted as in her youth plagues and is the catalyst for her destruction, it's not her fault that she ended up like this. her mental illness is treated with compassion by max who is willing to continue and reinforce her ideas of stardom by faking fan letters and studio interest (you can debate whether or not he was right to essentially sustain a delusion, i think that it likely caused norma subsequent harm but also kept her away from the tragic reality of her life, it might have saved her life especially due to how she reacts in situations where her illusion is tampered with, where her idea of a perfect life seems to be falling apart at the seems, she's suicidal and filled with anguish, she's a broken woman, and max, by continuing her fantasies and treating her with kindness and love is strangely romantic, like he's willing to devote himself, all of himself just to keep her intact) and treated with continuous apathy by the narrator she falls for, who disregards her mental illness and dreams, and seems certain to manipulate her for her money and wishes to shatter her illusions, especially near the end. he's not a good man, and she's not a good woman, she entraps him and makes him feel like he's stuck in this endless cyclical loop of despair. she's ill and he's an asshole, and it starts and ends with his bloody body floating dead in a pool, a natural culmination of this tragedy. after his death, she's become firmly trapped, with no remote sense of reality, the only thing that exists now is the lights and the cameras. what a deeply sad movie

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