Thursday, December 22, 2011

If You Lose Your Purpose, It's Like You're Broken

My movie review on:


Martin Scorsese remains one of Hollywood's beloved producers and directors of our time and most would equate his work with the popular mafia film; Goodfellas.  Step back though because Scorsese has truly made his mark in 2011 being part of his first 3D experience in movie making. Add in the creative elements of Johnny Depp and you have Hugo. 

The movie Hugo is set in Paris during the 1930's, where a young orphan boy named Hugo Cabret (played by the adorably brilliant Asa Butterfield) lives in the walls of the Paris train station. After his father's death, Hugo's care is taken over by his alcoholic uncle, who trains him on how to turn the clocks each and every day. With the sudden disappearance of his uncle, Hugo further isolates himself and continues to rebuild the broken automaton that him and his father worked on together many years ago, hoping it will reveal a message from Hugo's father.

The station manager, Inspector Gustav, (played by the hilarious Sacha Baron Cohen) guards the station proudly and keeps an eye on all the young vagrants he finds stealing. His satisfaction revolves around sending them back to the orphanage where he believes they belong. While being somewhat of a tyrant though, Gustav's heart beats for a beautiful woman who works in a flower shop but his own limitations dealing with his physical disability interferes every time and he cannot find the courage to speak to her for more than a few moments. 

A rude awakening happens when Hugo is caught stealing mechanical parts from a disgruntled toy shop owner named Papa Georges, (played remarkably by Ben Kingsley) who is anything but ordinary. Having Hugo empty his pockets and seeing the sketches in Hugo's notebook brings flashbacks and soon infuriates him. He threatens to burn each and every page if Hugo cannot prove that he is able to repair anything that is given to him. 

Devastated, Hugo runs away in tears feeling like he failed his father, but later returns, in hopes that he will get his notebook back to finish the automaton. Soon greeted in the station by Isabelle, the Goddaughter of the toy shop owner (played by a rather enchanting young actress named Chole Grace Moretz) is more than willing to help Hugo get his notebook back and put back together his past. Together they embark on an adventure that tests the hands of time.

Hugo is one of the best films I've seen in a long time. Be forewarned though, this is not your typical fantasy movie at all!! If you plan on taking young children (under 10 years old) to this particular one, the subject matter might be a little overwhelming.  

The movie reveals the darkest times and how fear can be the driving force in everything we do. At the same time, the genuine connections that develop between the characters are memorable, the innocence brings comfort and messages of hope leave you with a smile on your face. 

A life may be taken away from us on the physical sense, but the spirit remains, as if the person is still sitting beside you today. As long as you believe, love never dies. Also the fragile nature of human beings can be at any age and the limitations we have are only the ones that we put on ourselves.