Scorsese has managed to capture the elements of cinema in a near poetic manner and with the backdrop of a picturesque Paris coupled with the childlike innocence in fantasy and the small element of mystery, has created a movie fit for all age groups. Albeit the element of fantasy and magic is a little less than what is projected initially, the movie over its course holds the audience’s attention.
The movie story is a tad elaborate. It’s the 1930’s and Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield, who from the looks of it was in the movie only for his blue eyes) is an orphan living in the Paris train station. After his father (Jude Law, who was in the movie only for a brief cameo) who fixes clocks and other gadgets dies in a fire, Hugo is taken in by his drunk uncle who fixes the clocks in the Paris railway station where Hugo is asked to quit school and start work.
There is only one thing though that Hugo wants to fix and that is an automaton (a weird looking robot) that his father left him. For the proper functioning of the robot though, Hugo needs a key which he finds tied around the neck of the adventure-seeking Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz, who I have begun to ADORE since her role in Kick Ass!!) Isabelle’s grand-father is the grouchy George Meilies (the ever tasteful and brilliant Ben Kingsley) and upon further embarking on his adventure Hugo finds the unique connection between George, the robot, his father and the word “film making”. Of course Hugo would need to do all this with the Station Inspector (Sasha Cohen Baron, who is interesting in a role much different from what he usually does), who’s main job is to catch all the orphans living in the station and send them to the orphanage, snapping at his heels.
Will he find out the mystery? What is the connection? Will the Inspector catch him? Watch it to find out 🙂
Tastes albeit differ and Hugo is not for everyone. Some people would find this movie really slow and boring which would make it unable for them to be able to view the movie for what it is and others would see this movie for the way it was made and they way it transcends into the mesmerizing story it depicts and they would be the ones who really enjoy it.
The movie’s selling proposition is the visuals. The train station, the Paris cityscape, the snowy weather and the effects as such just add to the grandeur of the movie. The actors have had their good and bad moments. At times the emotions and dialogues are real and you feel as a part of them, but then there are times in the movie when it just seems a tad hammed up.
The movie’s pace though is where is sort of looses a little bit of steam. The start is interesting enough and sets you up for an interesting climax, but then in the middle the pace drops, starts up again, drops again and somehow labors towards the end. The plot of the movie is a tad elongated and thus it loses a few points from its perfection. Scorsese would have done well had he cut short a few scenes and due to this it seems that the movie is a little below par.
But if you can forgive the tiny flaws, its slow pace and a fade in and fade out plot most of us would really enjoy Hugo. It’s an inspired film history lesson along side of being a dreamlike children’s fable. Martin Scorsese has finally made a movie without violence, gang wars, gun shots, tension and has dipped his finger in children’s fantasy. Everything about the movie speaks of love of cinema and Scorsese has managed to showcase his love for it via this masterpiece.
Based on a famous children’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick, Scorsese has done well to keep the element of fantasy and mystery coupled and not lose a lot from the essence of the story. The movie holds it together (apart from the pace) and might not have gotten the Oscar and might not be in the same league as Goodfellas, Taxi Driver or even Raging Bull but it is definitely beautifully made and well worth a watch.