Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Artist

Rating : 9/10
Release Date : 24th February, 2012 (India)
Time : 100 minutes
Director & Writer : Michel Hazanavicius; Music : Ludovic Bource
Starring : Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, James Cromwell, John Goodman

How do we deal with change ? Do we embrace it, resist it, ignore it ? And what about when we realize we are wrong ? Are we big enough to correct ourself or do we let our ego and pride get in the way ?

Fascinating questions, raised provocatively by a beautiful film and left elegantly upto us to answer as we deem fit.
Jean Dujardin is a big star of the silent movies era. He is also a nice person and seems to get along with everyone, except his wife. He dances well, has a charming air about him, has a great sense of humour and generally everything is going as great as it possibly could. He accidentally meets Berenice, helps her get a role as an extra and is nice to her. She has a crush on him but is not able to express her feelings directly. And then talking movies arrive. And things change…

The film is so amazingly well put together, so well shot, there are sequences which make you want to stand up and applaud much as you would applaud a painting that connects with you. The scene when Berenice enters his dressing room and caresses his suit. When he pours his drink over his reflection in the glass table. When he stands in front of the shop window in front of a suit.

There is a poignancy in the movie, a degree of romanticism that runs throughout the film. All actors excel in their performances. Jean is perfect, embodying the old world charm of that era. Berenice is amazing as the peppy, full of life person who takes to talkies like a fish to water. James Cromwell and John Goodman complete the cast with great acting in their pivotal roles. And special mention of the dog who plays a meaty role well, pun intended.
The minimalism of being a silent film and black and white seems to enhance the other senses – you notice the expressions, the photography, the little details and the excellent background score even more. It’s the perfect way to showcase a movie about the silent era, bringing back that charm and nostalgia as you watch events unfold. An unmissable film.

1 comment:

Vijay said...

Hi Apurv, I could not agree more. Excellent movie. B/W, silent and 35mm added feathers to the movie. I liked the way the relationship of Jean and his wife portrayed, especially she scribbling on his photograph. The detailing in the movie is amazing.
I liked War Horse a little better than this. I Thought it was more intense and a wholesome movie. I would like to see your review.
I felt sorry for George Clooney, but Jean’s charming would have gone in his favour with the Jury. I am not taking away any credit from him though.