Tuesday 28 February 2012

The Artist - Movie Review

This article was first published on burrp!

Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman
burrp! Says: ****1/2

When was the last time you watched a movie in the theatres that had the good old title cards, was black and white and silent. Let me guess, never? Book your tickets for The Artist first thing.

George Valentin is a silent movie star of the 1920s; the time when a perfect smirk and a stylish walk was enough to win over hearts. While George rules Hollywood, the talkies slowly creep in and he finds himself unfit for this new wave of cinema. He makes his own silent movie which falls flat on its face against the talking film. The sun sets on his career as he goes broke and further into oblivion. The current reigning star Peppy Miller, with whom Valentin once had a fling keeps a watch on him and tries to help him out.

In times when a film has various dimensions, making one without dialogues is a risk. But for Michel Hazanavicius, the risk is well taken and puts him instantly in the bigger league (read Oscar nomination). Despite the lack of voice and colors, the story and its treatment keep the audience thoroughly interested. The scene where Peppy seduces Valentin’s tux by putting her arm in it is imagination at its best.

The build up towards the climax keeps the audience at the edge of their seat and that is when you realize the beauty of silence. Full marks to the art director for recreating the flawless classic era. The soundtrack is continuous and in perfect sync with the emotions on screen.

Jean Dujardin is stellar as George Valentin with his mid parted hair, trimmed moustache and charming smile. It seems he has traveled in time, straight from the 20s to act in this film. His chemistry with his pet dog is funny and endearing at the same time. Berenice Bejo portrays the bubbly Peppy Miller and keeps the character true to its name.

Although there are various movies based on the rise and fall of an artist but what’s special about The Artist is its treatment making it worthy of all the acclaim.

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