A lot of fuss has been made about this film partially due to the nature of it. The film is show in black and white, a square aspect, and is for the most part silent. Dealing with a silent movie actor who finds his star waning with the advent of talking films, whilst at the same time a young dancer finds her star rising the story is possibly fairly easy to predict and see where it’s going –but at the same time the film is a delight to watch proving that you don’t need the spoken to word to tell a good story.
The film is fantastically put together – watching it repeatedly felt like I was watching a period piece, until a modern day actor came in and recognising them broke the illusion albeit briefly. The backgrounds were gorgeous and contained a wonderful amount of detail which linked into the main plot (the film posters in the backgrounds seemed to all be symbolic of the scenes in which they were set).
A lot of fuss has been about the performance of the Jack Russell Uggie who while is fun in his scenes wasn’t nearly as scene stealing as I expected him to be from the reactions hes been getting. He does get some wonderful moments in the film – especially a bit Lassie style moment too.
I would say that the real strengths of the film are how sound is cunningly woven into the fabric – music plays a very a key part of the film (as I’m sure you’d expect), and there’s a beautifully thought through dream sequence which plays within the rules the films has setup for itself.
All in all, I really enjoyed the film – and found it a fantastically odd experience to be sitting in a cinema with 50 other people, but for it to be so quiet at times that you could hear others breathing, when the film finished, it felt quite strange actually talking again and making a noise – I felt reluctant to say too much till I had left the cinema – which for me is always a sign of a good film when it knocks me to silence like that.
I know that this film isn’t for everyone – the warning sign stating the film was in black and white/silent when you went into the cinema was a good sign of that but it was a good film, and I highly recommend it.