I am going to put this under the “drama” section, Chaplin’s love for the characters exceeds the laugh he is always looking for.
Charlie Chaplin with this classic project inadvertently embedded a concept so vivid, rich and timeless, that we are still repeatedly showcased different version of the journey, buying it every day, every time. Often a film of this much empathy could easily catch on a manipulative nature in its language. Hence, you see filmmakers holding back on expressing the blood of the relationship and instead keeps it nuanced with various metaphors. Whilst, Chaplin here isn’t holding back at all. But what he does so brilliantly is balance this see-saw game by giving enough weight on the other side of the seat. That being of course its off putting raw ruffian western world that it breathes and lives in. And this is what baffles me the most.
How effortlessly these characters are abusive, edgy and dark on their deeds. Take just the kid for instance. He is pushed off, pulled down, beaten- I mean there is a whole act of him having a hilarious boxing match parody where he is going town onto his opponent- cradled like a non-human being even at times for the humor. And this physical love comes off beautiful when that same mannerism is used to show the dry irrational behavior towards him.
In terms of gags, the scenario where Chaplin dreams a La La Land didn’t work for me entirety, no matter how much it reminded me of Tom’s dreams and nightmares from the Tom and Jerry; in fact there is a resemblance on how Chaplin is snapped out of that zone back into reality. The household husbandry tricks and gags on how he takes care of the kid is simply spectacular, those details helps us immensely to jump in time and play the assumption card. The Kid is a passionate experimental film, it was back then and is even now.