A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of watching The Artist together with a couple of friends. We went to the West Newton Cinema which is an atmosphere of its own, not resembling any of the modern movie theaters in the area. It mainly screens foreign and independent titles which I find particularly interesting.
I had read earlier both in the Guardian and Roger Ebert’s review that people had walked out of the movie since they didn’t realize it was a silent movie. Well, at least that wasn’t going to happen to me.
That being said, I was surprised, both in a good and a bad way. The Artist – which tells the story of the soon-to-be former silent movie star George Valentin and rising icon Peppy Miller – is a beautifully crafted piece of movie that will let you smile in subtle ways. After meeting by accident, their respective paths diverge, only to be reunited in the events leading up to the grand finale.
In many ways, it is indeed a grand finale for the movie, resolving open threads to satisfaction. But in retrospect, that is one thing that bothered me: not once during the movie it would have occurred to me to walk out on it. It was not a difficult movie by any means. It almost felt popular.
And that’s alright. I wonder why it is, but I also have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of watching The Artist. After all, you don’t run into a silent black and white movie every day.