On a stomach stuffed with turkey, my ‘paternaire’ and I went out to watch ‘Hugo’ which is being marketed here under the fuller title of ‘Hugo Cabret’. The expectation was to perhaps have a bit of entertainment, but the experience of watching the movie went way beyond that of simply offering some festive season distraction.
There was the brilliant visual representation of Paris which I must mention. Covered in snow, the post war representation of Paris shows both how well the city of Paris has managed to maintain the beauty and form of the city – and the powerful feat in branding that Paris has achieved over the centuries. It has managed to etch itself in the collective memory of its admirers as a delight to the eye and home to some of the world’s most beautiful architecture, and this element comes through strongly in Hugo Cabret.
Beyond that, the film tackles some extremely meaningful themes without taking itself too seriously – Loss, Belonging, Meaning and Purpose and more all get treated in a tasteful, entertaining manner through a robust story line carried by a set of very well developed characters.
Then there is the dimension of the film which is a tribute to the medium of cinema. This, the movie triumphs at doing through its chosen form and by weaving the tribute to progress in the film industry through the storyline itself.
It is not an exaggeration to dub Hugo Cabret a masterpiece. The movie succeeds on so many dimensions that very few other labels would aptly describe this feat in cinematography and story telling.