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Ah yes, movies and fantasy, it's always a wonderful combination especially when the story is good too. Midnight in Paris has been in my movie watch list for years! Finally, today I decided to watch it. Didn't have anything much to do so I thought well hey, why not watch it now right? Oh it turned out to be such a treat.
As usual I didn't watch the trailer until I watched the movie. I didn't have any inkling to what the story was although I do remember reading something about it. That's how this movie made it to my must-watch list.
After seeing the film, let me tell you what I think of it. But first, an overview and a warning: Spoiler alert!
Gil Pender and Inez tags along her parent's Paris business trip. As the days pass by the couple constantly disagrees over many things, one of them was to go dancing with friends. As the couple went their separate ways that evening Gil suddenly finds himself on an unfamiliar Paris street. Cars pass by and then a vintage vehicle with drunk people invite him for a ride. Thus begins his journey through time and back again.
I know this is a 2011 movie, but I was able to watch a more recent and similar Woody Allen film that I certainly didn't like. Comparing that to this, I see it the most recent one clearly was made from this Woody Allen film template. Midnight in Paris works better than the one about New York though.
This one is more magical as it is about time traveling to an era full of well known artists, writers, and everything else in the '20s at Paris, France. Ah such a romantic notion, right? The movie perfectly captured what a writer or an artist's fantasy might be. Him having experienced such, one can't help but come back to the present and appreciate it more. This is true for dreamers, young and old.
I for one can claim that I have my head in the clouds. Haha. Always thinking of whatever I fancy, the if only's. And then when it happens and I take action towards it, the charm and the dream disappears. Reality can be such a downer sometimes but perhaps I just haven't found the right dream to turn into reality, yes?
This is what the movie has reminded me of. Life can be a dream but it is not always to everyone's liking. The story is just like anyone's, we are all familiar with wanting to escape to somewhere else. A different place and time can be better than where we are now, right? Well, that thought isn't always right too.
Our life is what we make of it. If we hate it now then we must change something to make it better and likeable again. That's how we make life wonderful. Fantasy or dreams is one thing, reality is another.
To make fantasies and dreams come true, we must do something about it. That is what Gil eventually did. When he finally woke up from his "fantasy world" he realizes that life is better now than what he previously thought. He just had to deal with it in a roundabout way. It turns out he was just romantically involved with the wrong person.
Clearly it is the "same story" as that New York themed film of Woody Allen's but this one is so much better. This is about Paris! Come on. And meeting your writing idols plus even dining and partying with the painters of those days? Oh wow that's just a mind-blowing story! I'd love to have that experience too.
Perhaps it's be nice to be somewhere in Spain where Jose Rizal and Juan Luna were staying and having meetings and such. Ah wouldn't that be something? I'd get to meet all the Filipino heroes in their prime. Wow right? Of course I may be disappointed by their humanity but it's okay, at least I would see them and interact with them as if I live in the same era as they do.
Eherm, back to reality. Haha. Personally I don't think this is a comedy at all. Yes it does have a few funny moments but it is more of just a fantasy film. It is perhaps a happier "version" of another Rachel McAdams movie, The Time Traveler's Wife. (Oh she must love to be in time travel themed movies huh? 😅)
This one though is about a different kind of time traveler. The guy does not have an uncontrollable power but he is taken there by some unseen force via a vintage vehicle at midnight. In this film Gil Pender makes a choice to go to the roaring '20s almost every night as opposed to the other movie where the character doesn't have a choice on what time/year he goes to and when he goes there.
Maybe Gil's extreme longing for the '20s (to escape reality) made the universe into his temporary time machine. Or perhaps he was just "nightdreaming" while out walking in Paris' streets. Well it could be real time traveling but that doesn't happen to people in real life, as far as I know. Anyone who claims they could time travel is called crazy even if it could really be true.
Then again there are those who say they were taken to other realms like those in the world of dwarves and fairies. Oh we have stories of such in our country, for sure there are such tales in other nations as well. And alien abduction, oh that's a whole other level. Haha.
Oops I've said a lot about the story, what about the characters? Well, they seem real enough to me. It's not a parody or joke of a movie at all. Unlike Allen's low rated New York themed film, Midnight in Paris is well-paced and aptly cast. The characters are more real and believable than the other one.
The film is not really about the main couple's love story, it is about how wonderful Paris is. And so let's just say, Paris is the main character of the film even though it does not say a word at all. We only see the people who prefer to live and vacation in it's bosom. How insignificant people's problems (or lack thereof) seem when compared to the beauty of all things Parisian.
It is perfectly casted, Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson's characters are definitely not a match made in heaven. And it showed very well from the very first scene. Not that they don't have any chemistry but both of their characters just don't think the same way. The script and the acting is just flawless. The two could look like the perfect couple but as their characters had different things in mind, the actors still fit the roles perfectly.
Can't say I like Tom Hiddleston's American accent though. I don't know what kind of accent he was doing. Not familiar with American writers that much so even though I like Tom I think it's better to focus on the film's story instead. Haha. His character is just portraying someone's fantasy person anyway. At least that's what the movie makes me feel.
Even Adrien Brody is in it. I just like seeing familiar actors popping up in the scenes as artists, writers and other characters. Haha. That's one of the things that makes this movie quite a treat to watch.
Oh who wouldn't fall in love with Paris in the way they showed it? Clearly it shows us the viewers how lovely it is to live in Paris, France. The places people go to, the set design of the 20's oh wow. Even the old French 1890's and further back like perhaps the French revolution or something. Haha.
Period movies are always a treat to watch simply because they give us a sense of how the old days were. In this case it was early 20th century Paris. I've never been to France so I think it is quite nice to watch, like I've also been there with the characters. Plus it showed Paris in different eras too. Oh wouldn't any artist alive today be spazzing just by seeing a lot of period pieces? 😍 Ah it makes me giddy just thinking about it. Haha.
And the music, oh I love it. It's jazzy classical music to my ears. Not that I know there's such a thing but that's just what I want to call it as I'm no music expert. 😅 (There is even a music album inspired by the movie, it sounds classical or jazzy too. I am actually listening to it right now as I write this review.)