A lot of people talk to themselves. Some find it comforting and reassuring, perhaps because the words being spoken out loud make the speaker feel less alone. Others see it as discomforting, a possible omen of mental instability.
In films, plots are often driven by dialogue. In the movie My Dinner with Andre, the dialogue between Wallace Shawn and his pal Andre is literally the only thing propelling (if you can call it that) the film forward.
Other times, it’s not merely a dialogue between two people which moves the plot forward, but a discourse among many. Just think of all the episodes of That 70′s Show as the camera spun around the table to show Eric, Kelso, Fez and Hyde stoned out of their minds talking about cars that run on water.
People don’t often talk to themselves in movies. Even movies of stranded and lonely protagonists like Cast Away, Moon and I Am Legend rely on volleyballs, Kevin-Spacey-bots and a dog for the main characters to talk with. But people talking to themselves isn’t unheard of in movies. So here are ten great scenes where people do just that.
10. Apocalypse Now
Francis Ford Coppola’s masterful and insanely ambitious Vietnam film Apocalypse Now begins with its protagonist Ben Willard, drunk in a hotel room alone. He mumbles to himself, “Saigon… sh*t. I’m still only in Saigon.”
With these opening words, we’re introduced to a man obsessed with war. A man who can only think of getting back to the jungle, concerned that the Vietcong are getting stronger out on the battlefields as he wastes away in the darkness and emptiness of the Saigon hotel room.
And with Sheen’s grumbling of the lines to himself, it sets up the film for the future introspection not only of Ben on his mission to kill Colonel Kurtz, but the mad renegade Colonel himself.
This article was first posted on March 11, 2013