Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MON ONCLE (French) (1958)

Both the film and Director is wonderful revealing discovery for me as well as many of our community members. The film is winner of Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award in 1959 and Special Jury Prize winner at Festival de Cannes. Jacques Tati is regarded as one of the most iconic directors of world cinema for his unique style of comedy and for his memorable character of Monsieur Hulot (played by Tati himself), who with his trademark raincoat, umbrella and pipe is among the most memorable comic characters on celluloid. Hulot much more resembles with Chaplin and even the satirical fun of the film matches with Chaplin’s masterpiece ‘Modern Times’.

The recurring theme of the film is Satire on Modern Western society’s material obsession and consumerist culture where everything is operated by machines and electricity. The leading character of an eccentric, absent-minded Mr. Hulot is misfit in the modern world.
Mr. and Mrs. Arpel lives in an ultra modern home where everything inside is machine and remote operated. Their only son Gerard has only one fun in the world- his uncle Monsieur Hulot. Tati satirized the superficial face of western material world; here symbolically represent the mechanism operated modern home where the owners trying to impress the neighbors and relatives. The film is the witty fun between the high life and simple life.

Tati has picked wonderful minute detailing of modern materialistic show up society with funny and satiric eye of an observer. The fun here is not a boisterous laughter but an intelligent and witty one which involves you as an observer. Another Tati’s trademark is his use of sound design in the film. Almost all dialogues (except the most important lines) are toned down in the background with music.

Mandatory Watch for you if you love classics of world cinema. Its one of the finest refined comedy you love to cherish in a long run.

Ratings- 9/10

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