Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Midnight in Paris - Movie Review

Decided to begin my New Year with a Woody Allen movie and picked up 'Midnight in Paris' as the chosen one. This movie did not star Woody Allen but it starred Owen Wilson who funnily, acted and spoke like Woody does. But I did miss Woody - his films are not the same without him.

The movie opens with shots of Paris taken through a loving eye, Woody's surely as his love for Paris is well known. I would love someone to show Hyderabad that way, in winter! We meet Gill Pender (Owen Wilson) a successful screenwriter who is writing a novel. He is holidaying in Paris with his domineering girlfriend's wealthy parents (who disapprove of Gill somewhat). Nothing seems to be in common between Gill and Inez (his girlfriend) - he likes walking in Paris in the rain, she doesn't, she finds Paul, her old Prof, highly intellectual and attractive and he does not etc etc. One fine evening Gil, bored with Paul and company, goes off on his own. While waiting for a cab an old Peugeot stops before him and he is invited in by a raucous bunch of people. From there on starts his foray into a fantasy land where he meets creative heavyweights from the past in a salon - Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, Ernest Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein, Salvador Dali - and many other highly creative people. He is accepted in Stein's famous salon and every night after that he goes off for his midnight walks (causing much suspicion). By the end, his fantasy world creators cause Gil to see his life in perspective, and it all ends well for Gill Pender who finds true romance in the end.

The movie received much acclaim and even won the best Original Screenplay award at the Academy Awards. It is Woody's 41st film and that number itself boggles my mind. What energy must it require to write so prolifically and so creatively and to direct his own movies at such pace is something that I cannot comprehend. Its almost as if his thought and action are so closely connected. Definitely one of the best creators of our times, Woody takes a unique place in our hearts that one can only admire.

And it is that creative thought process that 'Midnight in Paris' celebrates. It is sweet. It makes you think. It has its moments. It is also a mellow movie, a more reflective version of Woody exploring an idea and not so much a situation. But it holds back his irreverence a bit which is something I love in his work (though there are those subtle digs at the French pronunciations). 'Midnight in Paris' is the kind of a movie I'd love to watch on a rainy day, in a cozy room, with loved ones. It's warm, sweet and beautiful. Certainly must watch.

1 comment:

Rajendra said...

Yeah, I liked it. Slightly different but very good.