A film that is visually stunning and emotionally and based on children’s book by Brian Selznick’s “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”, winner of the Caldecott Medal in 2008.
Hugo, Martin Scorsese‘s latest film, tells the story of the orphan Hugo Cabret, son of a watchmaker, who lives in the depths of a railway station in Paris of the ’30s, where he repaired watches and observes the lives and loves of people coming and going. His dream is to be able to repair an automaton left him as inheritance from his father, tragically missing in a fire. Hugo, alone and bitter, concentrated all his efforts on this clockwork doll, shabby but ingeniously elegant, until his destiny crosses the one of the station’s toy store owner and his goddaughter Isabella.
Hugo, masterfully played by Asa Butterfield (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), is in equal parts a little abandoned orphan and a bold and admirable survivor. On Butterfield’s shoulders rest the kaleidoscope of emotion of the whole film and the young actor shines of its own light.
Each of the characters found in Hugo reminds to the audience that, in one way or another, we all like broken clocks, and in the end, all we have are the others. Our daily struggle is to overcome our past and not give in to pain.
Scorsese delivers this message in a stunning beauty, painted with a palette of colors perfectly balanced between brass and steam, sun and snow, in direct contrast with the black and white illustrations on the book by Selznick. The constant movement of gears and pendulums in the world of Hugo mingle with the unstoppable emotions of the boy up to imitate the most fascinating pantomimes of silent film’s era. There is no dialogue really necessary, messages come clearly through an experience extraordinarily delicate and relaxing.
Is it Steampunk? Probably, but without the exaggerated tones like “Look at me, I’m a Steampunk film!”
Scorsese, staunch supporter of the preservation of film heritage, pays homage to the masters of early movies through his love letter to the past using the most futuristic and cutting-edge techniques such as 3D. Whether you are orphans or artists, the themes of this delicate film will strike your heart as to say that we are all irreplaceable many small gears of this great clock called existence.
“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and types of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason, too.” Hugo