100 movies: The Illusionist

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The IllusionistThe Illusionist (29/11/12)

A French illusionist finds himself out of work and travels to Scotland, where he meets a young woman. Their ensuing adventure changes both their lives forever..

I really wanted to like this film more. I wanted to love it. Love it for its beautiful animation. A charming little story. And just to be swept up in it. I feel like a cold, hard person for not falling in love with it. I merely enjoyed the ride.

Shall I start with the animation itself? It is beautiful. From the perfectly quirky characters to the Scottish countryside. I’ve not seen an animated feature quite like it, in terms of the visuals.

The lack of dialog, or rather the film’s own dialog, took a little bit of an adjustment. It was just a little strange in the beginning. But it made for a very unique animated film. Following along with the actions and the story itself rather than the dialog driving the plot forward. The story and characters were strong enough.

Talking of the characters, that’s where I fell out with the film. The magician himself was a lovely, warm character. He was just doing what he loved where he could. I think it was the young girl and her relationship with him that turned me off the film slightly. Or maybe I’ve just become horribly cynical in my old age. Sure it was cute and adorable in the beginning how this girl is totally taken with this magician. But, to me, it was like she was just along for the ride, taking what she could get. See, told you, cynical!

This poor magician was struggling to keep going with his craft and yet he still lavished this young girl, who looked up to him, with gifts and the sort. She, I didn’t think, really appreciated it.

Maybe I’m looking too far into this film and the characters, but this really bugged me. Well, considering the relationship between the two characters is the central part of the film, if I didn’t ‘get it’, sure it’s going to bug me!

Still, this is a unique and beautiful bit of animation. You just have to be less jaded than me.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…