Hugo brings characters and scenery to life

Martin Scorsese, the man who directed famous blockbusters such as Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980) and Goodfellas (1990) has recently stepped out of his comfort zone to unleash his first 3-D film Hugo.

Set in the 1930s, the movie is about an orphan boy named Hugo Cabret who maintains the clocks in a Parisian train station where he hides in a dark and sad isolation, surrounded by tinkering machines. The only thing Hugo has from his father’s life is a broken automaton, a mechanical device used to imitate a human being, which he believes holds a hidden message from his father. This leads Hugo to discover a lost era of film history, his purpose in life and a home.

The movie is based off the New York Times best-selling book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but Scorsese makes the story his own through the use of creative film techniques and the fabulous actors he worked with.

Some of these techniques include close ups to heighten the intensity or innocence depending on the situation and many low angle shots to display a sense of authority to the characters with power.

The cinematography mixed with the 3-D graphics well, not because characters seemed to be flying out of the screen, but because the dimensions were enhanced, the depth of the scenes were enhanced, plunging the audience into the Parisian train station.

Although the critics praised the movie’s visual effects and plot, I do wish that the critics had given the actors more applause since they brought their characters to life.

Asa Butterfield (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas), the actor who plays Hugo, did a marvelous job all around but when it came down to showing Hugo’s vulnerability and innocence, he was excellent. Academy-award winner Ben Kingsley (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) also performed well as the forgotten film pioneer Georges Méliès and portrayed the character’s sense of regret. Comedy actor Sacha Baron Cohen (Bruno) proved that he could act at higher levels and still is funny as the station inspector who seeks to place all orphans in an orphanage.

Some of the major themes displayed in the movie were the love and history for film, the interest with automation and the longing for a home.

For me, the movie was the best picture released this year, which is saying a lot since the year is almost over. Overall, the movie had a pure, solid story that made critics and moviegoers fall in love with Hugo.