Mar 4, 2012

Hugo, 2011

Hugo, 2011
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Sascha Baron Cohen, Chloe Grace Moretz

Stage: home theatre

Hugo in short: Hugo is an orphan boy living in the walls of a train station in the 1930s in Paris. He fixes clocks and other gadgets as he learned to from his father and uncle. The only thing that he has left that connects him to his father is an automaton that doesn't work; Hugo has to find its heart-shaped key. On his adventures, he meets with a cranky old man who works in the train station and his adventure-seeking god-daughter. Hugo finds that they have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton, and as he discovers it, the old man starts remembering his past and his significance to the world of film-making.

Preps: an evening with friends. We are talking about the Oscars, because I have three winners to see. This is one of them and Scorsese did an elegant acknowledged job, as he got three oscars for this piece. It would be interesting to see what the fuss around the tachnical part of the movie is about. For all the technical stuff, he got all the merit and fame, this piece.

Reality: At first I need to admit I am dissappointed. The story doesn't seem to drag me in the action. I don't get what the fuss is around this boy. Is he really living in the train station? The dillusions he has about his father... I am missing the background. Anyway, for the first hour of the movie I am deeply annoyed by the fact that I am fighting with the story and what the point is.
On the other hand, I am also deeply intrigued by all the technical details I see in this train station. I have never known what a station consists of. The same deal was with the Titanic, where they used Kate and Jack to show the observer what a giant for a fact that ship was. In Hugo, you have this in a shape of a young boy whose role is also to show what this station consists of. What the main things about it were back in 1930ies. I am also struggling to find the year where this is happening, obviously before WW2, but I didn't go into research until a later point.

Now, if the movie doesn't posess a strong story in the beginning or a rather vague idea what it is about, it evolves later in the middle. I am fascinated by the details and the sight of a robot, built in that time. The perspective, the photography, it all fits somehow together and makes this a remarkable piece. I have deep respect for the technical aspect of any movie, however I need to have it all. It is not enough just to make a technical spectacle. If I showed curtosy before to the Titanic, that movie had it all, powerful story, based on true events (which isn't a necesity to make a movie good), brilliant dialogues, wonderful cast, script, photography, technical aspects. No wonder it was audited as brilliant masterpiece of that time. In the case of Hugo, we only see technical perfection. It is a pleasure to watch Kingsley chase his dreams, but I cannot get the dialogues, the script is poor and without a soul, which at the end, contributes to my dissappointment in the piece as a whole.
It isn't necessary to have it all, if you want to win audience. But as always, I claim that you need the audience to pay you respect in the first twenty minutes. Not to figure out what the hell it is they are watching and give them technical brilliance. The voice, effects, no doubt, beyond imagination and one of greater things I have ever seen. But the story.. I didn't really buy it. To interact with audience, you also need the audience to buy the cast. Which I didn't. Still, remarkable and once in a few years, I totally agree with the academy - they really deserved that range of oscars this movie won. And I get it, why no praise for any of the interactive categories. Because the movie doesn't posess anything. Blue eyes cannot always save the day.

My personal rating: 5,5 (worth seeing for its technical part. But if you aren't patient enough, it might come to your nerves before the day breaks).

Hugo on IMDB

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