A few nights ago, my best friend and I went to see the film “The Artist.” In case you haven’t heard, “The Artist” is a silent, black and white movie that tells the story of George Valentin, a silent movie actor who refuses to change with the times and make the switch to “talkies.” In the beginning of the film, Valentin, played by Jean Dujardin, is swimming in fans, money and fame. But as the story continues, a wave of young, talking talent replaces him and the entire silent film industry. The world moves on and leaves Valentin behind.
Don’t worry, it’s not as dismal as it sounds.
Image from here.
There is, of course, a passionate romance. From the moment they meet, Valentin and aspiring actress Peppy Miller, played by Bérénice Bejo, are captivated by one another. Despite Valentin’s melancholy and Peppy’s booming career, they can never quite lift the spell love cast upon them. It’s charming, tragic and in the end, a beautiful love story.
Image from here
And what excellent silent film could be complete without an excellent soundtrack? The music, written by composer Ludovic Bource, plays a huge role in conveying the emotional atmosphere of each scene. In simple melodies, creative instrumentation and dynamic compositions, Bource enthralls your ears and makes you forget that you’re watching a silent film.
I loved the musical score so much that I bought it on iTunes.
By the time the film was over, I too was madly in love. This movie is simple, classic and beautiful. It did everything a good film should do. It pulled at my heart strings, it made me laugh, it kept me smiling and it never failed to capture my mind or my imagination.
Take a risk, go see “The Artist.” It may be silent, but I have no doubt it will speak to you.