An amazing film on silent Hollywood gladdens Cannes | hollywood | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Feb 22, 2017-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

An amazing film on silent Hollywood gladdens Cannes

After watching Shekhar Kapoor’s Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, my faith in cinema, and in the selections at the Cannes Film Festival, now on, was beginning to take a beating.

hollywood Updated: May 18, 2011 15:20 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times
The Artist

After watching Shekhar Kapoor’s Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, my faith in cinema, and in the selections at the Cannes Film Festival, now on, was beginning to take a beating. That is when I saw The Artist. Helmed indeed artistically by Michel Hazanavicius, the black and white movie is the most enjoyable one that I have seen till now. It certainly restored my faith in the medium and the Cannes selectors.



The Artist is a charming, old world love story that most marvellously weaves within it the silent era in films, and how finally when cinema got its voice, so many great stars lost theirs. Men really handsome and women extraordinarily beautiful were found unsuitable for the talkie, because their voices were either too screechy or rough. Or, their diction and style of delivering lines was just not up to the mark.



One of the celebrated stars of the silent movies is George Valentine, portrayed elegantly by Jean Dujardin, who goes through the whole gamut of emotions – from exhilaration that he experiences as a big-time actor in the silent days to disappointment, when the Hollywood studio bosses reject him as sound comes on the screen.



Gautaman
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Valentin is at glorious heights in 1927 when he meets the vivacious Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), whom he helps find her feet in cinema. Her rise is quick, and in no time she becomes a star from an extra, her voice being one of her scoring points. In a story that reminded me of Singin’ in the Rain and A Star is Born, Peppy’s meteoric climb contrasts with Valentin’s equally meteoric fall.



The film ends on a happy note, but, oh, it must be, for it is from Hollywood -- with Bejo and Dujardin doing a superb dance number in the last scene. Ginger Roberts was it, or Fred Astaire? We can keep guessing.