Films often earn a place in history because of memorable speeches and monologues in them. It is only through these monologues that good writing and acting can be showcased. They can be simple and very effective at the same time. While some have the ability to move you to tears, some can actually make you laugh your head off and also compel you to stand for an applause.
For an actor, monologues are not exactly the easiest acts to perform, however, there are a few monologues in the history of cinema that have been pulled off effortlessly. Here are a few:
Taxi Driver- "You Talkin' To Me?"
In Taxi Driver, Travis (Robert De Niro) has a moment for himself infront of the mirror. Holstering his gun, he rehearses for his change. In a monologue of not more than 120 seconds, he brings out the frustration against the feudal society and helplessness of common man. With every draw of his gun from his sleeve, he sends a message about retribution arriving.
Pulp Fiction- "There's a passage I got memorized."
Samuel L Jackson has delivered one of the most popular (if not the most popular) monologues on screen. It is the casual tone in which he informs his victim about the Bible passage (Ezekiel 25:17) he had memorized, the fiery roll of his eyes and the eventual culmination in a bullet train that makes Jules' killing scenes stand out. The genius of this monologue lies in the fact that it is quoted right before a murder.
The Silence of the Lambs- "You know what you look like to me with your good bag and your cheap shoes?"
In The Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins plays a figure that is perhaps the most disturbing. It is with fixated eyes and suggestive licking of his lips that he delivers this monologue. His chilly tone and sardonic smile only add to the scary factor of the monologue.
The Dark Knight- "Wanna know how I got these scars? My father was…a drinker. And a fiend."
Heath Ledger isn't new to us. He became a household name after his portayal of Joker in Nolan's second part of the Batman trilogy. Joker, already terrifying in the first place, becomes more so when he delivers his monologue about his red scars. It is his tone and the look in his eyes that make every hero fear him.
Rocky Balboa- "You ain’t gonna believe this…but you use to fit right here."
Rocky Balboa is one of the most inspiring personalities of all time. Rocky (Sylvester Stallone), who meets his son in a dark alley and tells him how not to give up. It is his crooked lower lip and his husky tone that make his words more convincing. Urging his son to never give up, he ends by expressing his love for his son.