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The Red Violin  

Nicolo Bussotti (Carlo Gecchi)
Anna Bussotti (Irene Grazioli)
Charles Morritz (Samuel L. Jackson)
Xiang Pei (Sylvia Chang)
Auctioneer (Colm Feore)
Evan Williams (Don McKellar)
Victoria Byrd (Greta Scacchi)
Frederick Pope (Jason Flemyng)
Directed by Francois Girard Written by Don McKellar and Francois Giraud
No MPAA Rating (adult themes and nudity)
Running Time: 130 minutes Distributed by Lions Gate Films

The Red Violin is a memorable and enchanting movie. The film follows a unique red violin, which was created in the 17th century, through four different generations. Every being who encounters the instrument becomes amazed by the beautiful music that it produces. However, each being's life becomes a pure tragedy. The red violin is built first in Italy, and then it falls into the hands of an orphan boy in Poland. The next generation the red violin dazzles is in England, where its owner (Flemyng) becomes so enamored with the instrument as a gift of love and erotic desire. The red violin appears next in China, where the government sees the violin as a form of corruption from the West. Finally, the violin ends up in present-day Canada at an upper-class auction. The violin auctioneer's expert (Jackson) becomes admirable and obsessive of the amazing instrument. The Red Violin is a beautiful film to watch. The main character is the violin, which travels through different eras, cultures, and politics. The violin really is a curse for all the people that encounter it but also an object of beauty and obsession.

The film had great transitional scenes to the different times, places, and countries. Watching The Red Violin was like seeing an artistic vision of many settings.

The acting in The Red Violin was extravagant. The first 40 to 60 minutes of the film are in foreign languages with subtitles. None the less, Carlo Gecchi, who plays the creator of violin, gives a strong performance. The bright spot however is Samuel L. Jackson. Most people would wonder why Jackson is in a film like The Red Violin, which is low budget, has no big name actors, and an international director. He was drawn to the film by the good story. Jackson is outstanding as the obsessed expert who rediscovers the red violin as a historical piece. Jackson's performance also shows his range and how he can do any type of character that he wants because he is that good of an actor.

The Red Violin is a fascinating and very artistic film in its own way. It is one of those independent films that are entertaining and driven by a creative story.

Report Card Grade: A-

Beastman's Movie Reviews
Copyright, 1999 Joseph C. Tucker

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