Friday, August 17, 2012

Hugo - Movie Review

Martin Scorsese's Hugo was a disappointment to me. It came highly recommended by a couple of friends but I found the movie too slow and the plot too convoluted. Hugo is a young boy who lives in the railway station in Paris repairing clocks sometime in the early part of the last century. He has lost his father who was a master clock maker and his uncle, a drunk, puts him at the railway station. Hugo lives alone, stealing food and trying to repair an automaton that his father was trying to repair, one which he believes has a message to him from his father. Conflict appears in the form of the station inspector and his dog, who is looking to capture orphans and turn them over to the state. Also the toy store owner who is the source of many mechanical parts for Hugo's automaton. He catches Hugo and confiscates his diary full of drawings and sketches of the automaton and its workings.

Anyway Hugo befriends the toy store owner's adopted child, an orphan again, who promises Hugo she's save his book. She does, but toy store owner tells Hugo he will return the book only if he works for it. Hugo agrees. He also takes the young girl to the movies - something which her adopted parents deny her always. Hugo finds a heart shaped key - the missing link in his automaton - with the girl and asks her to lend it yo him. It is the final key in the automaton which then proceeds to write and draws a picture that makes no sense. Later  in the library they find that the picture is the poster of a movie of a movie called 'Voyage to the moon', a movie that Hugos' father loved watching. The movie was made by George Melies who incidentally is the toy store owner. And then the toy store owner turns out to be some one who made 500 movies and stopped when the war came. He lost all his films and his money and started the toy store. Finally they all end up with his films being restored and all ends well.

I found no logic in the film. Why is the automaton there? What is the connection between the automaton and the film maker and the toy store and the boy? Did Hugo find the message form his father? Is the story of Hugo or of the movie maker who became a toy store owner? Yes, there is a connection, but its all too far fetched and convoluted and bored the hell out me. If one had to make a film about a film maker I would want it to be like Harischandrachi Fcatory which was made in Marathi with its simple, linear and yet wonderful way of story telling. Here everyone's motives and actions are too complex and what they finally achieve I don't know. Hugo gets the automaton moving and then what happens? Is that it? Did his father want him to find George Melies and was that his growth and life purpose? What of all the clocks and the boring characters on the railway station? Save the technical brilliance perhaps, the story is one that never dragged me into it, and in fact, bored the hell out of me. I'd avoid it if I were you. Now, to find the guys who recommended it to me.


Rajendra said...

I agree. Boring as hell, and pointless. Maybe Ek Tha Tiger would be more interesting, though I can't bet on it.

Harimohan said...

Yes Raja. We would have done better with Mel Brooks that day. I think it's better to stick to the funnies anyday.