The film tells a universal story on a wider perspective. It's a silent, black and white film with semi-biographical theme of silent films, which used to be shown during the early '20s and '30s. It's..
I DON'T recall being just simply happy and content by watching a film. I remember, some time back when "The Artist" was about to be released, I passed across the film's first look in a black and white poster, resembling the one of "Gone With The Wind". The old-fashioned look and the actors with French names, not quite recognizable by the English audience were what I noticed at that time. Well, I didn't pay much attention to this topic, till the time the film was released and became quite successful, both with the viewers and with the critics abroad.
Curious, as always, in the matter of films, I googled the film. Read a bit about it on Wikipedia that it was a silent, black and white film with semi-biographical theme of silent films, during the early '20s and '30s of the last century. Followed by this, I watched the trailer on YouTube. To be honest, I was surprisingly interested in the theme of the film. I did not know why, but I was.
Since that day, which was a few months ago, I was desperately waiting to watch this film. Now, when I am done watching it, I can conclude that I wasn't at all bored, even for a second, while watching this old themed film, and moreover, I feel nice about the whole thing. As aforementioned, "simply happy and content".
The film tells the story of George Valentin, a major star of the silent films who introduces Peppy Miller, an aspiring actress and a fan, as a dancer. As the transition of silent films to talkies comes, Valentin loses his act and Miller being a newbie, gradually climbs the ladder of stardom. Though, in the process she never forgets Valentin and her love for him. Because of them, she even saves him from his suicide attempt and convinces him to make a comeback in the films by doing a musical with her, as they're both good dancers. The film concludes on a happy note with Al Zimmer, the producer - director of silent and then talkies, asking the duo to give another shot of a dancing sequence, to which Valentin happily replies, "With pleasure!!"
And indeed, it was a pleasure to watch all of them. Jean Dujardin being the protagonist of the film was outstanding in the portrayal of "George Valentin". Berenice Bejo was adorable as "Peppy Miller". The supporting cast of John Goodman as "Al Zimmer", James Cromwell as "Clifton", the valet of the protagonist and not to forget, "Uggy" the faithful pet-dog and co-actor in all of the protagonist's films were delightful. Not to forget the writer-director-editor, Michael Hazanavicius and the producer Thomas Langmann for their approach and in making their efforts come alive, the D.O.P, Guillaume Schiffman and the music producer, Ludovic Bource and co-editor, Anne-Sophie Bion.
The film though, tells a universal story on a wider perspective. The silent films made by our fore-fathers, irrespective of the country they belonged to, were highly respectful, being more than entertainment, in their times. It might sound archaic now, but even today if one will watch a silent film, the liveliness and the mystic feel of happiness will not be missed.