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|A modern silent motion picture, classic Shakespearean movie within a movie within a movie beginning. A story about the end of a silent motion picture star's career and the beginning of the 'talkies.'|
With musical soundtrack, some screen subtitles(just like old silent movies), and one comedic dream sequence where the protagonist has a nightmare that he is suddenly immersed in a world of sound, and only he has no voice. There is some license here, in that this dream sequence is not silent, except for him, in his dream. But it is funny.
My wife kind of dragged me to this. I didn't expect to like it. I didn't expect to be able to follow it, or be interested by it, or be drawn into it. I expected it to be kind of boring. I expected to kind of sleep through it.
I was totally wrong.
It was anything but. It grabbed you, and was easy to follow, and not only that, it drew you in, to the point that you are totally invested in this likeable character and his story.
It was transformative, in that, now I understand why silent films were so popular and watchable, and in some ways, had to be a much more effective form of moviemaking, without sound, in order to be effective.
It is not mocking silent films, or making a joke of silent films. It is a modern effort to create a totally effective silent film,(the subject of which happens to be the end of silent films.) And, it is totally effective; a tour de force in film making and acting.
It is both a playful and a joyful film, but there is one part in the film that is so effective(I'm not going to spoil it)that for a moment, you are questioning "Is this a comedy?" and are about to _hate_ the film, but in the end, it takes you right up to that edge and even just slightly beyond--but only for a second, and then gently lets you back down, with a slap on the back, and you are genuinely ... relieved. And when you are, you have to acknowledge that this was a masterful bit of acting and moviemaking.
The film is extremely manipulative, but in the end, the filmmaker has not abused that manipulation, and ... you can trust the ride, is all I want to say about that. It cheats a little at the end, but it is totally in context(and the last joke of the film)as ... well, just watch it.
It instantly became one of my top three favorite films of all time. (Casablanca, Now, Voyager, and now this film.)
Must be something about my rods and cones, because my top four are all b/w films. (The Bicycle Thief is in there.)
I think because in order to be great filmmaking experiences, they have to work so much harder, and these do.