Wednesday, 17 June 2015

How Bogart Built a Brand with a Distinctive Drawl and a Trench Coat.

It's impossible to think of noir movies without Bogart and it's impossible to think of Bogart without noir movies. They both complimented and completed each other.

Bogart's big mug, his tall built and his gruff voice became the hallmarks of the noir film loner (Or loser). Another of his trademarks was the trench coat. Granted it rains a lot in noir films and granted a lot of people wear something as utilitarian as a trench coat but only Bogart could carry it like a coat of arms. And after having seen countless Bogart movies, I too am craving for a trench coat.

Now I know I won't be able to carry it off as well as him. I also know that India's not big on trench coats. We don't have companies like the London Fog which would make quality trench coats. Besides a trench coat is best worn with a hat for both functional and stylistic reasons. And let us all not kid ourselves into thinking we could pull off hats. 

So now that's settled let's get back to ol' Bogie. Bogart did something that most of us 'ad guys' fail to do. You used what you had - your distinctive drawl, your striking, often cold withdrawn stare and of course the trench coat to give us a noir super star. You carved a 'position' for yourself that no one has been able to 'capture'. You were a brand that people loved and recognised. And as I watch The Maltese Falcon tonight, after some 70 years of its release, I realise that you are a brand that's impossible to replace.

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