Jodi Edmunds reviews the blockbuster, ‘Hugo’. These are her thoughts…
Serious yet delightful. Beautiful but shady. “Hugo” gracefully drew me under its spell and into its magic mound of clocks, gears, pulleys, levers and spanners. The film works like a well-oiled machine, a brand new wind-up toy, a freshly tuned violin. It is a wise tale about a boy, and it will make your heart sing.
Martin Scorsese (director) winds us back to the 1930s, where Hugo (Asa Butterfield) lives alone in a Parisian train station. Amid its chaotic walls, the twelve year old boy maintains the station’s clocks while working on his recently deceased father’s most prized project: fixing an old automaton – a mechanical man. The wind-up machine sits alone clutching a pen as if yearning for inspiration. It is his only possession to his happy past. Convinced it holds a message from his father, Hugo is determent. It must be fixed.
After days of work, the only part missing is a heart-shaped key. He finds this on an adventure with his newly-found friend, Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), the goddaughter of the toy-shop keeper at the station. The key is turned. The mechanical man comes to life. Charlie recognizes the picture it draws: A scene from an early film, “Voyage to the moon” which he remembers as his father’s favourite. The automaton then signs the name of Isabelle’s Godfather, and another adventure begins – this time plunging deep into the world of early film-making: Isabelle’s Godfather turns out to be none other than Melies (Ben Kingsley) – an old film-maker as tired and in need of restoration as the automaton.
You’ve probably figured out the end, but to me it’s not important. Instead, it’s the voyage, the ticking of the clock and the winding of the parts that kept me mesmerised.
Cinema fans, you’ll enjoy sifting through the many crusts of intelligent cinematography. The visuals, sound, photography and script are like clockwork. Together they throw a sombre and melancholic blanket over the audience, but keep it light-hearted simultaneously with comic jolts now and again. You’ll also be able to appreciate more than only the entertainment: the movie shows snippets of some of history’s earliest films including “Voyage to the moon” and one of Charlie Chaplin’s most well-known, “The Kid”.
You will fall in love with the relationship of Hugo and his newly-found friend, Isabelle. The chemistry between them is none other than sweet and innocent. In fact, the chemistry between all the characters should be commended. Their shaky relationships in the beginning are what keep us hoping as we wait for the final scenes.
The 3D was a nice touch, but the narrative is what stays in the limelight throughout. Besides a few select scenes that were staged for 3D cinema, the film in 2D would have been just as enjoyable.