I must warn you, I didn't watch the whole movie. When I got home yesterday evening, my parents had already started watching this. They filled me in on what I'd missed (not heaps) but I also had to watch it like a normal person. No stopping to write down quotes or anything like that - although I did keep scooting in front of the coffee table to where my phone was charging to take some notes. So this is not the most in-depth reflection. What I did find, though, were 2 distinct themes which connect better than I originally thought. Machines; and dreams.
Hugo, living in the clock of a Parisian train station, is literally surrounded by machine - cogs and wheels and things working and things needing to be fixed. If he doesn't keep the station clock wound then he might be found out as an orphan; he also has a need to return his father's automaton to working condition. Looking out over the city one night, he says to his friend Isabelle that he thinks the whole world is a giant machine. And every machine has the exact right number of parts, never any more than is needed. And if the world is a machine with the exact right number of parts, then I must be a necessary part - and so must you. The hard bit, of course, is knowing what your part has to do for the machine to be able to work, what your purpose is in this grand scheme. But it is so hard, sometimes, to remember we are all necessary, even when we feel unimportant and invisible, and even those people who make us uncomfortable or annoyed are also necessary.
One thing Hugo loves is adventure. You know you're having an adventure if there's a chance you could get in trouble (good advice, there). His father used to take him to the movies, and now Hugo will steal into the theatre to watch 'dreams in the middle of the day'. This movie is populated with dreamers. And not the sort of dreamers who just sit around and dream, but those who have a dream and do all they can to reach that dream, no matter how fantastic. Now, some people might think that magic tricks are unnecessary; movies are unnecessary; art and music and poetry are all unnecessary. But if anyone has a particular talent for any of these things - and, as we know now, we are all necessary parts of the giant machine that is the world - then any of those things must be necessary. This is rather topical for Queenslanders right now, as some of our state-funded school music programmes have just been axed. Not happy, Campbell. Everyone has a natural inclination towards something, and everyone's inclination is a part of the greater whole. Knowing that this is partly autobiographical of the life of the director, Martin Scorsese, makes it even more pointed - all those kids stealing into the movies, acting their dreams, could turn into famous movie directors of the future.
Aside from the machines and dreams, the support-part of the station inspector, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, is delightful. So plodding, so stereotypically police, but giving love advice to his superiors - I'd watch this movie again just for that. And such a different role for this actor that I had to look up who he was (always a good sign). There wasn't as much information on the music that was used, which I would have appreciated as it was really well done.