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Archive for November 15th, 2012

by Shubhajit Lahiri

Though not as universally popular as Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp, master French filmmaker Jacques Tati’s creation Monsieur Hulot too remains an unforgettable character where slapstick comedy goes. Mr. Hulot’s Holiday introduced cinephiles to the friendly and polite, albeit bumbling, socially awkward and accident-prone everyman and the eponymous character of the film.

When Mr. Hulot visits a pleasant French countryside retreat for vacation, it is inevitable that mishaps will occur, and they form the basis for the immense enjoyment that the movie provides. Never one to indulge in over-dramatisation or racous fun, Tati filled the film with hilarious gags that make you laugh through their brilliant ideation, wit, subtle gestures and unadulterated humour – the brilliance of imagination and execution certainly ensured that the viewers would roll on the floor with laughter.

The sequence which introduced us, and the unfortunate hotel guests, to Hulot, and the one where he decides to display his tennis skills, are acts of pure genius and parts of cinematic folklore. In fact, the movie is filled with a multitude of moments that would stay with the viewers, including even something as mundane as the opening and closing of a door! (more…)

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