Friday, March 2, 2012

HUGO (2011)

First things first…This is something quite unexpected surprise from filmmaker like Martin Scorsese as far as plot, genre and story telling is concerned. Must say, the film undoubtedly one of the most embracing visual treat to watch on 3D big screen. It is almost splendid in all technical fronts- especially the spectacular production design and mesmerizing cinematography are worthy enough to win Oscar trophies without doubt. I don’t want to throw much light on plot and so repeat the end lines written by adventure loving Isabelle in her diary, “Once upon a time I met a boy named Hugo Cabret. He lived in a train station. Why did he live in a station? You might well ask. That’s really what this book is going to be about. It’s about how this singular young man searched so hard to find a secret message from his father and how that message lit his way…all the way home.”

Well, some of the hard core Scorsese fans wondered while watching it that why on earth Scorsese attempted something so routine fantasy from Hollywood high on CGI and technical divisions. But Scorsese made his point quite clear in the second half of the film where under the direct tribute to cinema’s almost forgotten pioneer of fantasy and illusion creator Georges Melies, he celebrated the innocence and magic of early silent cinema. It’s perhaps his tribute to the world of hours in the dark where magic and illusion corresponds something so unique experience to our senses. But above all it’s also film about saving the decaying inherited treasure of cinema and bringing them back to life. The gold that we lost, destroyed and ruined almost as dust L    

The constant highlight of the film is to fix things. Either it’s fixing that toy mouse, automaton man, broken memories and above all fixing that golden treasure of cinema against old odds. And perhaps Hollywood has produced a few filmmakers who’re really concerned about the film preservation and film restoration process immaterial of any language and any country. He’s the man who helped and funded to restore Ritwik Ghatak’s ‘Titash Ekti Nadir Naam’ to show it in Cannes few years back. As this film is clear reference to cinema’s almost forgotten French pioneer Georges Melies who introduced the fantasy, illusion to cinema in the initial stepping years. His creative ideas on editing, cutting and special tick effects brought a new vision for the filmmakers of next generation and they carry forward it with invention of new technology. His most of works destroyed and lost in First World War. It’s so shocking to know that army of his own country confiscated 400 of his short films and burned them to use the raw material to make the boot heel of the shoes! Thanks to the active film archives and technological advancements of the day that brought back to life some 200 or so films of this gifted artist of his time. One can watch many of original on youtube anyplace anytime. Thanks Marty for bringing our attention to this forgotten genius and pointing to the world the concern for this cinema’s historical archives in such a sugarcoated and visually sumptuous food for any ages.


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