Student Review Of ‘Hugo': Fun for Everyone

Martin Scorsese’s (Raging Bull, Goodfellas) foray into the worlds of family film and three dimensions is a delight for all to see. Set in Paris in the 1930s, a young orphan boy lives inside a clock tower in a train station, trying to unlock the secret his recently deceased father left for him to solve in the form of an automaton. He makes a few friends and a few enemies along the way as he ultimately discovers the true magic behind motion pictures. Wait, what? I thought this movie was about a boy fixing this old broken robot thing that his dad was fixing while he died. What is this about the magic of movies?

Family Movies

Martin Scorses's cameo in Hugo

That was how I felt about half way through Hugo. Through a series of events that I won’t spoil for you here, Hugo, played by Asa Butterfield (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas), meets famed cinematographer and movie pioneer George Melies, played by Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Shindler’s List). Hugo helps him rediscover his waning self-respect for his older works and makes him realize that the old style of cinema is important and influential on the newer styles of cinema. The real question is though, how did this all come from a boy and his robot? You have to go see the film to find that out!

You have to go see the film

While the choice of director was clear, Scorsese being a renowned and acclaimed cinephile, the story tends to drag on and become preachy. Towards the end there is a whole bit about how we need to preserve early film reels, which is an issue relevant in the film industry today. However, cinephiles such as myself and other movie critics absolutely ate up all of the old school film history portrayed and alluded to in the film.

On the other hand, I can see why people who came in to this movie with expectations of father-son bonding and wanting to watch a boy overcome the odds of fixing a machine too complex for a boy his age to even imagine, would be bored and slightly disappointed by the turn of events created by Melies.

 The story is actually broken up into two different parts.

  1.  The first part is fun for casual viewers
  2. While the latter half is geared more towards movie junkies.

Hugo Movie Trailer

Despite the divide in the story, Hugo was still a fun family picture for anyone to enjoy over the holidays. If anything, this film probably educated a few lazy viewers on the complexity of what they take for granted on screen. In these times of crappy Hollywood films, an educated viewer can go a long way. B

Release Date: November 23rd

Rating: PG

Runtime: 127 min.

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One Comment on “Student Review Of ‘Hugo': Fun for Everyone

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