The Past Is Never Dead. It’s Not Even Past.
– Midnight in Paris (2011)
In a million years, the Indian mongrels can’t make a movie a millionth as pleasing as Midnight in Paris.
And neither will the millions of EverReady-for-Ready rabid curs patronize this classy a movie.
As the more discerning of SI readers will recollect, Midnight in Paris was the opening-night attraction at the recent 64th Cannes Film Festival.
Having watched Midnight in Paris today, we can say the film deserved all the applause it got at Cannes and more.
Truth be said, it took a mighty hard effort on our part not to get up and rush to the front of the movie-hall at the end of the movie and plant a sloppy kiss on the screen as a Thank You to Woody Allen who both wrote and directed this film that besides being a eulogy to Paris is so much more.
Warning: This Trailer Doesn’t Do Justice to the Movie
What is Midnight in Paris All About?
Well, at its most basic Midnight in Paris is nostalgia, a sweet, bewitching longing for a golden era.
A nostalgia complicated because it’s different times for different people.
Sure, for most of us, the past is a wonderful idyllic moment to dream about and savor in dreary middle-age and insufferable old-age.
Weren’t the old days great, the nights heavenly and the ancien regime extraordinary?
To say anything more about the Midnight in Paris story would be to give the game away. And the loss would all be yours. So we won’t spoil the fun.
Suffice to say, Woody Allen builds a gem of a movie on the entrancing scaffolding of nostalgia in the beautiful setting of Paris.
We were perplexed as the movie opened and the screen quickly shifted from one beautiful Paris shot to another – Paris by day, Paris by evening, Paris by night, Paris in the rain, and Paris in so many hues.
Is this a tourist brochure, a plug for Paris a la Vicky Cristina Barcelona for Barcelona, we asked ourselves.
Slowly, the answer revealed itself to us bit by gorgeous bit.
We know y’all want to know more.
But all we’ll say is that magic happens when the clock strikes midnight as our soon-to-be-married young man from California Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), on vacation in the city of lights, is walking about Paris, a city he can’t get enough of.
Au contraire, Gil’s fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) and his future in-laws, the Tea Party loving conservative snobs who are not too fond of Gil, can’t wait to get back stateside.
Darius Khondji’s camera work is sheer magic evoking as it does a rich tapestry of great artistic and literary figures in a riveting setting. By the way, the movie is mostly shot on location in Paris.
What Did We Love about Midnight in Paris?
Besides the brilliant audacity of the twist and beguiling charm of Woody Allen’s writing, the casting was excellent.
By the way, the movie is an embarras de richesses of great one-liners. Wish we could tell you. Well, that’s another reason to see this gem.
Owen Wilson as the Hollywood hack Gil Pender trying his hand at a novel, Rachel McAdams as his fiancee Inez, Marion Cotillard as Adriana, Carla Bruni (yes, the First Lady of France) as the museum guide and the rest of the vast entourage have all thrown in commendable performances.
Since Owen Wilson hogs the camera, let’s spend a few more seconds on him.
As the dissatisfied Hollywood hack yearning to write a novel, uneasy at one level with his fiancee and her parents, a disconnect that gnaws at him and as the man who comes to life after midnight, Owen Wilson is a delight on screen.
Hey, his character in the movie likes Indian food too, particularly Naan bread. Do you schmucks need any more reasons to see this delightful movie. 😉
Now, to all you
Ladies and Gentlemen Kuttas and Kuttiyas who worship on the altar of beasts like Salman Khan and raise trash like Ready and Dabangg to the level of commercial successes, we say watch Midnight in Paris and then, maybe, you schmucks will realize the difference between cinema and offal!