This a romantic fantasy film written and directed by maestro Woody Allen.Though not as great as his older flicks, there is no denying the fact this a very enjoyable and charming film.The film works largely because of its appealing theme supported by commendable performances from its cast, which includes Owen Wilson,Rachel McAdams, Corey Stoll, Marion Cortillard and many others.
A protagonist who likes the nostalgic streets of Paris and who thinks that Paris is most beautiful when it rains, is very much like everyone of us.The lead character Gil Pender played by Owen is living a fantasy we all want to live, may be in our own ways and in our own circumstances.
Woody Allen through this film explores the theme of Nostalgia.We all live in a world of denial.We are not brave enough to express our views in its true form.We all are stupefied by the pace of the present.And we all fantasize of going back in time to the golden age.But that’s escapism.And the film exactly deals with that.Our protagonist is an American and a struggling writer who is drawn by the the nostalgia offered by Paris.He likes to take a walk in rain through the streets of Paris.He even likes to settle down in Paris for the rest of his life.This causes a rift between him and his fiancee.And the real fun begins when it strike midnight.The protagonist finds himself taken back in time to the 1920’s where he meet legends like Ernst Hemingway,Pablo Picasso, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and many others.He so wants to live in that time forever.He falls in love with a girl named Adriana and even gets his book critiqued by Gertude Stein.And later in the film our protagonist and his girlfriend in his golden age finds themselves taken back in time to the 1890’s, which Adriana considers to be the golden age of Paris.She insists that she doesn’t want to go back to the 1920’s.And this is when it rings the protagonist , that there’s nothing like a golden age.Each generation considers the previous generation to be the golden age.
Nostalgia is a great pull or attraction.But we need to face the reality.We can peacefully live in the present and yet drawn by the pull of nostalgia.But we need to be real.Our works need to be real and natural and should bravely represent the truth without an element of denial.
The film is an ultimate reminder that there is nothing like a golden age.But still we cant help but fall in love with that golden age portrayed in the film.Its so alluring and seductive.Past is this seductive mistress and present is your fiancee.And I am truly surprised by how Woody Allen can make his artistes move out of their comfort zones and take the best out of them.Gil Pender could easily be the best performance of Owen Wilson till date.Owen Wilson is charming and lovable and is exactly what Gill Pender is..
My Rating : 8.5