Be-DAZZLED with Scorsese’s homage to Cinema!
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Chloe Moretz , Emily Mortimer, Jude Law, Helen McCrory, Christopher Lee, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone, Richard Griffiths, Asa Butterfield
Synopsis: Based on Brian Selznick`s captivating and imaginative New York Times best-seller “The Invention of Hugo Cabret“ this is Scorsese`s first film shot in 3D. It tells the tale of an orphan boy Hugo (Asa Butterfield) living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station. When Hugo encounters a broken machine, an eccentric girl, and the cold, reserved man who runs the toy shop, he is caught up in a magical, mysterious adventure that could put all of his secrets in jeopardy.
Review: Based on Brian Selznick children’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” “Hugo” is a children’s adventure that morphs into a lesson in classic silent cinema. It’s perhaps a topic of Director Martin Scorsese’s own boyish passion. With charm and a sense of wonder, he delicately treats the subject of revering and preserving films — a cause close to his heart — in ironically one the most high-tech films of our time. Winner of 5 Academy Awards – Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing & Visual Effects – this is one fantastically directed dazzler in 3D. If “Avatar” swept you off your feet, you’re going to feel like you’re right inside this film. Now approaching his 70’s, Martin Scorsese has been a master for decades and it’s thrilling to see him make a bold, creative and unusual family film. Unlike so many films shot in 2-D and shoddily converted to 3-D after, Scorsese explores the potential of a true 3-D production and it’s awe-inspiring.
Set in 1930s Paris, Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is a wide-eyed orphan who secretly lives in the walls of a train station and keeps all the clocks running on time. The opening scene swoops through the station crowds before soaring up to a high perched clock and into the boy’s peeping eyes. With grinding gears and hidden hallways, there’s plenty of mystery and magic at the station for this young lad who’s fascinated by machinery. Stolen parts from the toy shop run up by a cranky old man (Ben Kingsley) aide Hugo in salvaging a metallic automaton, the only connection with his late father (Jude Law). Of course he must dodge the mean station master, Gustav (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his growling doberman or maybe find a new friend in a curious girl (Chloe Grace Moretz).Together they all embark on a strange new adventure and as the story unravels, the audiences are left just as stunned as the kids themselves.
John Logan’s script is slightly sluggish but you relish the lingering scenes as you lap up the visual treats. Kingsley puts on a marvellous performance while child actors Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz are impressive. Sacha Baron Cohen provides the smiles as the dastardly inspector who finally grows a heart.
You don’t have to be a hardcore cinephile or even know who George Melies was to appreciate the trip back to his famous 1902 sci-fi film “A Trip to the Moon” (even though it’s crucially bound to the plot). Each scene fleets to early days of cinema (Lumière Brothers) and it’s simply a joy to feel the power & love of films as a story-telling medium.
It’s a clear cut message to modern day blockbusters with big effects, making a film is a privilege, don’t screw it up!
Verdict: An enchanting fable – so magical, so exquisite it’ll restore your faith in the wonder of cinema.