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Sunday, December 10 2023

The Aviator: A film on Howard Hughes’ life

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The Aviator (2004) directed by Martin Scorsese, is a biopic of Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio), a pioneer in aviation who lived from the late 1920s as a young idealist to the late 1940s as an eccentric billionaire. The film builds a soaring and sad portrait of a man destroyed by what he can’t control about himself.

When Howard Hughes was nine years old, his mother warns him about the illness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which she fears will bring misery to his life. Fourteen years later, he begins directing the film Hell’s Angels. Hughes becomes fascinated with filming his film authentically after the premiere of The Jazz Singer, the first largely talking film, and resolves to turn the film into a sound film. Hughes would not be content with anything unless the end result was exactly what he had envisioned. Hughes’ personal assets were severely harmed as a result of his obsession.

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Hughes pushed the boundaries as a cinematographer during this time, directing films including Two Arabian Nights, Hell’s Angels, Scarface, and Outlaw. He was also keen on advancing aircraft, both for military and commercial purposes. His goal was to make every man, woman, and child on an airline feel safe and secure.

Meanwhile, he falls in love with Katharine Hepburn, an actress who helps him cope with the symptoms of his growth. His accomplishments have earned him a lot of fame. In the portrayal of mental illness, his obsession is not only with cleanliness but also with climbing higher and earning respect.

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Hughes was a mystery to the world and even those closest to him but it didn’t stop him from sleeping with gorgeous women during this period, with Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardener (Kate Beckinsale) being his two great loves. Cate Blanchett will convince you that she is Katharine Hepburn. Kate Beckinsale too gives an outstanding performance, particularly during her breakdown sequences.

The film indeed requires patience to watch as it is a lengthy one which is the major flaw. But the end result blows your mind away. The impact of Martin Scorsese’s filming style can be felt throughout the visual experience. We are right there with these characters, feeling everything that they are feeling.

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Martin Scorsese tried to recreate the colour theme he remembered seeing as a boy when viewing films from the era. There was a seamless integration of visual effects, including both practical scale models of planes, houses, and Hollywood Boulevard, as well as CGI effects such as water, clouds, and era-appropriate backgrounds.

The Aviator is a must-see picture for anyone who enjoys and appreciates biopics, and lovers of Leonardo DiCaprio should not miss this incredible collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio.

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The Aviator won five Academy Awards in 2005 including Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role by Cate Blanchett, Best Achievement in Cinematography by Robert Richardson, Best Achievement in Art Direction and Best Achievement in Costume Design.

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Reshma B.

Reshma Babu, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore University, utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent story writing and sub-editing abilities to add value to the company’s media brands and the editorial team. All dimensions of human interaction are her prime focus.

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