daveed at 2011-05-27 09:56:04:
This is a trickster film in every sense of the archetype -- it defies easy interpretation, makes you laugh, and wonder, and yeah feel a little stupid for not "getting it" right away.
It marvels you with what appears to be a simple story. But there are deep, deep layers to this film that stay with you long after it's over.
Is it a religious allegory about Eden and the fall of man? A social satire about wealth, power and politics? Or just one glorious joke about the pointless, godless randomness of the universe? Yes. And no. And maybe. The point is, what do you think?
This is a film that makes you think, but doesn't necessarily reward you for coming to a conclusion. I believe the reward comes from it being so thought- and emotion-provoking.
Sellers may have pulled off the greatest characterization in drama: Chauncy is a perfect mirror held up not just to the other characters, but to the audience.
I've been wanting to read the Kosinski novel on which it was based. I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts who's read it. (Kosinski also wrote the screenplay, I believe.)