Monday, July 13, 2009

Le violon rouge (The Red Violin)

Beware, Le violon rouge is far to be your conventional film because of its plot's structure. However, when you remove your prejudices from your mind, you'd certainly like it even if you're not used to see five different scripts united by a McGuffin (the violin, for that matter).


During the 17th century, in Cremona (Italy), Nicolo Bussoti (Carlo Cecci) awaits the birth of his son and thus, spends his time making a violin which he wants to be perfect. However, when his wife dies while giving birth to his son, Bussoti puts even more effort in making the perfect violin, which will now be a tribute to his wife. This is how the story of the red violin begins. This instrument will travel through time and change owners. Besides, this violin can inspire passion and obsession in the protagonists' life.

Of course, some might feel that the movie is a little bit slow in its execution. However, that's not necessarily something that kills the film. Of course, although the different plots are not logically linked per se, they sure have one common power. In fact, the latter consists in showing us that through the test of time, the red violin crafted by Nicolo Bussoti is at the centre if its different owner's passion that goes beyond music.

For instance, in the case of Nicolo, his passion for the violin can be seen through his motivation to build his best violin ever despite his wife's death. Secondly, in the case of Xiang Pei, even though she goes through the Cultural Revolution, her position within the Communist Party makes it impossible for her to keep the violin. Hence, her decision to hand the violin to Chou Yuan, a violin teacher, in order to avoid its destruction at the hands of people who closely follow Mao's dogma.

Finally, Le violon rouge is definitely the work of a master for it's well acted and well shot. Of course, some (like me) might be a little bit bored by the film, but watching it helps you to develop your patience, so to speak.

Rating: 4/5


François Girard

Origin:Canada/Italy/UK (1998)
Length:131 minutes
Genre:Historic drama
Screenplay:François Girard and Don McKellar
Director:
Starring:Samuel L. Jackson, Sylvia Chang, Jean-Luc Bideault, Carlo Cecci and Greta Scacci


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