"Science is an intellectual dead end, you know? It's a lot of little guys in tweed suits cutting up frogs on foundation grants." So says Miles Monroe, a New York neurotic who is frozen for 200 years and awakes in the year 2173, where it seems like George Orwell's neo-fascist society of 1984 really seems to be happening: no one has any freedom of choice, since their minds have been changed by a oppressing government.And boy is it funny! Woody Allen's "Sleeper" is his 1973 classic film where his Miles awakens after being frozen in suspended animation, by anti-government radicals who believe he can help override the evildoers who control everything. Allen's script, like his 1971 comic masterpiece "Bananas," is a film incredibly ahead of its time, while being funny and romantic, it does have some deep roots into the problems our society can face, even today.
When Miles meets Luna (Diane Keaton, in her first outing with Allen), Luna is a type of "arthead", who is the type of people "that only look for the beauty in things." Miles comes across her as a robot, since the government is after him to change his head. Luna eventually discovers who Miles really is, he's caught, and she takes up with a revolutionary campaign that will try to overthrow the government.
Some of this sounds heavy-handed, but somehow Allen pulls it all off again; his early style of 70's comedy is very evident here with a lot of references to Buster Keaton, Woody's own great Jazz score, and his kind of loose photographic style. And this is the first film with Allen and Keaton together, and they both shine bright. Allen is wonderfully funny as Miles, who has one crazy adventure after another, and Keaton is radiant as Luna, who is born again through the story."Sleeper" is not a perfect film. His earlier film "Bananas" is one of the funniest films of the 1970's, and this is a fine followup but not in the same league. However, it is a tad stronger on it's subject matter, which is presented so entertaining and humourous that you can't help but love it anyway.