Its heart and kindness come through in the genuine feelings demonstrated by the tramp. For instance, when the tramp makes it possible for the girl to restore her eyesight, he gives up money he borrowed. He emotes such a feeling of loss -- as he is destitute himself -- and yet is happy to give this gift to the woman he loves. His altruism is inspiring and defines what kindness means. I think this is one of the reasons the film resonates so much to me. I am inspired by such selflessness.
Much of the film turns on mistaken identity. In the second scene of the movie, the tramp comes across a beautiful flower girl and doesn't realize that she is blind. He buys a flower. Just when she is about to give him his change, a man gets into a luxury car nearby and the car drives away, making her think that the tramp has departed. When he realizes this, the tramp tiptoes away. So, for the remainder of the film, until its climax, the tramp continues the ruse. Throughout the film, the little tramp visits the girl, bestowing on her gifts and trying to be of help, all the while posing as a rich man. It makes me realize that wealth isn't only about the amount of money one has. True wealth means having a generous spirit.
Comedy -- especially physical comedy -- is cleverly woven throughout the story. There is a classic scene, a boxing match, that pits the little tramp against a very large man. We can't help but root for the underdog, and, of course, the tramp gets the better of the other fighter, much to our delight. In another unforgettable scene, burglars enter a rich gentleman’s home where the tramp is staying. Throughout the scene, we, the audience, sit on the edge of our seats feeling both tension and amusement as the tramp pivots between being in peril and causing havoc. I admire physical comedy because to do it well takes real mastery -- a knowledge of the essence of humor and physical control. One must be broad enough to do slapstick right, but not too broad to tire the audience's patience. It is a balance between the obvious and the subtle. The first scene of the movie, which may be my favorite scene, encapsulates Chaplin's subtle wit. The film opens with a view of the city and slowly zeroes in on a newly dedicated heroic statue. The tramp is sound asleep on top of it. Chaplin's irreverence makes me smile. True artists have to challenge accepted premises, I believe. If you want to view this scene, use this link:
Finally, what I admire most of all and find utterly delightful is the flawless acting from Charlie and Virginia. Their performances make me laugh and cry. I hope you will see the film and enjoy it as much as I do!