Skip to main content

Hugo | Movie Review


After winning two Academy Awards, Hugo certainly deserves to be in people’s must-watch movie list, or at My Must-Watch Movie List. Having watched the movie several hours ago, now I think that, at least, a glimpse of film history to fully understand what the movie means is somewhat needed. And I was like, “I wish I knew [those film history thingies] before watching it.”

Hugo - Wallpaper
Hugo simply tells about an orphan boy named Hugo (Asa Butterfield), who lives inside walls of a train station at the 1930s Paris, “working” as the station clocks’ winder. He initially lives there with his harsh uncle after his father, a museum curator, dies in a fire.

Hugo inherits the spirit of his deceased father to fix things. He still keeps one of his father’s dreams alive – fixing an automaton, a mechanic-human-figure doll that can write and draw.

In order to fix the automaton, Hugo needs to steal some mechanical parts from a toy store which belonged to George Méliès (Ben Kingsley) in the train station. Then, his intention to try to fix the automaton leads Hugo to an unimaginable journey for him.

In 126 minutes, Hugo can land various post-watching effects on its viewers. Those who understand film history – filmmakers and film critics – will find Hugo as a masterpiece of Martin Scorsese. Meanwhile, those who are moviegoers will find Hugo as great movies even though they cannot really grasp what the movie director wants its audience to experience after watching the movie. Simply, it is because ordinary moviegoers lack film history knowledge. They cannot really experience what filmmakers and film critics feel when watching the movie. I can say that these two groups of "movie viewers" are not in the same ground at comprehending the film.

Then, does one need to understand film history before watching Hugo? If you ask me that, I will say “no”. If you only want to look for entertainment, then just go and watch it.

Hugo and George Méliès [from: csmonitor]   

I am included in ordinary moviegoer community. I lack understanding of film history. However, I still can enjoy the movie. The story is great. The movie plot is simple; it does not need a critical thinking to watch the movie. The pictures are absolutely great – try to watch the 3D version, marvelous. Some of the dialogues are also witty. Some scenes are also really funny. The point is the movie entertains me.

But trying to understand the movie deeper, the movie surely offers its viewers with profound message. I personally like the message that “everything in this world is created with a purpose.” 

Then, in what part is the knowledge of the film history accountable?

An understanding of film history is only needed if you want to cinematically appreciate Hugo. You will need that knowledge if you want to consider Hugo as a cinema (a work of art) not a movie (commercially made movie). Why so?

The movie does pay tribute for earliest movies ever made. It also specifically pays tribute to George Méliès (try to Google his name and figure out yourself what to expect when watching the movie).

That is why, my film critic friend, Corry Elyda, totally has different interpretation of the movie (which I will not share here for I will infringe her “right”). I believe that filmmaker and film critic community will share the same vision as her.

In the end, I will still rate the movie as one of the must watch movie. It deserves to have 8 of 10 stars. It is a movie both for film community and layman. Bravo Martin Scorsese!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Two Most Influential Postmodernist Thinkers

This second post about postmodernism will consist of two greatest postmodernist thinkers and their contribution to postmodernism.
1. Jean François Lyotard.
Lyotard is a French philosopher. He opened the discussion for postmodernism in social theory with his groundbreaking publication ‘La Condition Postmoderne’ (The Condition Postmodern). His works stress the decline of meta-narratives or grand-narratives, as some scholars refer it. Meta-Narratives as defined in the previous post are sets of ideas governing what is right and wrong. For example, religion defines how to live a good life. By doing so, people who do not appeal to the characteristics of good man as defined by religion will be considered unfaithful, as bad people. Lyotard argues that this way of legitimating declines in a postmodern society. What is considered good can no longer be clearly separated from what is considered bad.

The decline of meta-narratives was triggered by communication development. Traditional communicatio…

Graduation ... Alhamdulillah finally

Yesterday, September 8, 2011 finally i had my graduation ceremony. I am now officially hold the title "Bachelor in English Language and Literature" (although I prefer Bachelor in American Studies hahahahaaa).

I thank all of my friends in English Department 2006 for their supports and companions during my time in ED. I was so relieved to have friends like them. I specially thank my American Studies 2006 class for everything they gave me in the last semesters of my study.

Movie Review | Stream of Tears in Wedding Dress

Last Saturday, I got a runny nose -kind of severe, as I recalled- not because of sick, but because I watched a Korean movie entitled WeddingDress.
I have frequently watched Korean movies. In my opinion, they are much better than Indonesian movies. Not that I dislike my country (I just dislike Indonesia’s movies), but yeah, Korean movies have a wide range of preference. You can watch cheesy-funny-romantic movie that make you feel happy and smile all the time. Or try to watch a horror-romanticmovie that makes you laugh and scared. You can also find cool action movie! Some movies even make me cry a lot. I really mean it when I say some Korean movies really make me cry so badly. Wedding Dress is one that makes me cry. I am a boy and I cry. So what? I don’t buy the ubiquitous saying ‘Boys don’t cry’.

Wedding Dress narrates the life of a single mother, Go-eun, played by Song Yun Ah. Her husband dies already, leaving her only with her young daughter, So-ra, nicely played by Kim Hyang-gi. …