Hugo was just one of those films where I sat down and had no idea what I was about to watch. Aside from what a few underwhelming previews offered, I had virtually no expectations for this film. I knew the film had Sacha Baron Cohen in what seemed like some type of antagonistic role, it had Ben Kingsley, it seemed that it was a family film starring a young boy and the story had something to do with a train station. I didn’t know much, but I knew I had to see the film for one reason.
Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest film makers to have ever lived and I would never miss the chance to see one of his films. Scorsese’s latest film, Hugo, follows a seemingly derivative children’s story about a young loner and his adventures in a train station. Very early on the film feels as though it will become redundant and disappointing by the end, but past a certain point Scorsese establishes that Hugo is no ordinary family film, but instead a fascinating tale that serves as a parable about innocence and why we love going to the movies.
In a perfectly adequate performance, Asa Butterfield plays Hugo a young boy whom on the eve of the loss of his father attempts to fix a broken mechanical man that he and his father had been working on before his father’s untimely death. The intelligent boy considers it his duty to fix the clocks in the train station he calls home all while stealing different trinkets to fix his mechanical man. He runs from the station inspector when necessary and eventually befriends the daughter of a cranky old Toy Shop Owner who’s harboring a mysterious secret.
I’ve already said too much though and this celebration of film in general is one worth attending for yourself. I will say that I was not fully gripped or entertained by every aspect of Hugo, but the passion that went behind the making of this film can not be ignored. When I first heard about Hugo I wondered; why would Scorsese make a children’s film? He certainly answered my question and while this isn’t a masterpiece like so many other Martin Scorsese movies, it is a very powerful film and one that needed to be made.