Movie Review: Hugo (Now on DVD)
Hugo is a young orphan boy living in a clock tower in Paris. Yet, he is also a boy on a mission to solve a mystery his father left behind. His only clues are his father’s notebook and a broken automaton that he wants to be fixed. While stealing parts for it he meets a mysterious shopkeeper named Mr. Méliès. Afterwards, Hugo discovers that Mr. Méliès personal mystery is connected to his father’s in a way he never thought possible.
One of the things that really make a splash in the film is the cinematography. When the camera follows Hugo at the beginning of the film, it is like the viewer is in the movie with him. When Hugo is spying on others, his point-of-view shot feels like a movie within a movie, his eyes a camera documenting all he sees. Furthermore, the use of animation and classic black-and-white film clips make the film a perfect homage to historic movie-making techniques.
Another aspect of the film that is memorable is its theme of the connection of man and machine. There are many ways this is displayed. For instance, a bird’s-eye view of Paris transforms into the gears of a clock through graphic matching. A poignant way this is shown is through a line Hugo says: “Everything has a purpose. If you lose your purpose, then it’s like you’re broken.”
The last commendable feature of this film is the acting of young Asa Butterfield, who plays Hugo. When he cries, the viewer may be tempted to hug him.
I recommend this film to anyone who appreciates the art of filmmaking or any one who loves a good adventure/drama film.