Movie Review: Hugo – A True Cinematic Adventure

Cast: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sir Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen

Director: Martin Scorsese

It opens with a shot of a beautiful snow-clad Paris in 1930. The camera swoops to enter the train station, makes its way through the passengers and finally rests on the face of an innocent young boy gazing at the platform from behind the station clock. The opening shot of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo leaves you captivated. You know that what follows next is a splendid story. After taking you throughMean Streets and introducing audiences to Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, Scorsese yet again creates magic on the screen. Hugo is a movie that will leave you in awe. It will linger in your heart and mind days after you walk out of the theatre.

Narrated through a young pair of eyes, the movie introduces our protagonist; an orphan boy, Hugo Cabret who resides in the walls of the station. With an automaton left behind by his deceased father, Hugo tries to repair it with the hopes to unlock the mystery of the clockwork robot. He conceals himself in the unwinding passages, ladders and gears of the clockworks at the station to keep it running on time. Nibbling on stolen food and with the sole aim to repair the broken machine, he crosses paths with an old toy maker with a sour attitude and unknowingly unravels the toy maker’s secret past.

It is no surprise that the movie has bagged five awards at the Academy. With brilliant camera work, an engaging story, wonderfully chalked out screenplay and some thought provoking dialogues, Hugo is a story of hidden secrets and burnt down passions. What will amaze the audience is that Scorsese has used modern techniques to re-create a long-gone age.

Unlike the incessant use of 3D to generate revenue, the technique used in this film manages to convince you that it has been put to use in order to narrate a story. It gives a certain depth and meaning to the entire movie. Watching Hugo is like reading a book. It provides the viewers with minor details and portrays a lovely picture in front of you. What will also intrigue the audience is the idea of how some people can fix other’s lives just as they can fix broken machines.

Good stories have to be recounted at a leisurely pace. And Scorsese takes his time as he slowly unravels the plot of the story. Hugo has a certain charm that will appeal to audiences who love and appreciate cinema in its true sense. The film takes its viewers to visit the beginning of cinema. Great performances by Sir Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield along with Robert Richardson’s cinematography have added to the profoundness to the story of Hugo. The movie is a visual treat for the audiences. It is a charming movie that believes every person has a purpose attached to his life because if the entire world is like one big machine, you cannot be an extra part. Machines never come with extra parts. And therefore you are in this world for some reason.

- Esha Chanda

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