Hollywood Watch: The Artist

Vishwas Kulkarni
Yahoo! India Movies15 March 2012

The Artist will turn out to be one of the most enduring works of cinematic art in the coming years. The film is an ode to the silent film era, and true to its genre, is entirely without dialogue.

A silent movies superstar, George Valentin (played beautifully by Jean Dujardin) is at the top of his game at Kinograph Studios in 1927. That is until the talkies come into play. The superstar is too arrogant to give in to this new technology, something that leads to his downfall. His descent into alcoholism and depression coincides with the rising star of Peppy Miller, played immaculately by Berenice Bejo. Bejo's vulnerability and note-perfect performance is truly heartrending. She attempts to resurrect the life and career of the man she loves, George Valentin.

The film's greatest strength is that it does not push the nostalgia pedal. While the film is shot at 18 frames per second like all silent films were, the narrative and production standards are not compromised with any gimmicky cuteness like chroma backdrops and the pinholes-and-scratches cliché that plague films of this kind. The Artist should be your number one pick for this weekend. Winner of five Academy Awards, The Artist is a love letter to cinema  itself.

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