Le Violon Rouge (The Red Violin)
I have been thinking of writing about “The Red Violin” since i saw it. I saw this movie by chance. Yes, i am really happy to have stumbled upon it.This movie is about an epic journey of a perfect musical instrument, The Red Violin. Some might say the movie is a collection of small stories and I wouldn’t disagree. The movie shows us the journey of the beautiful red wooden piece for over three centuries around the world and several owners, eventually ending up in an auction .
The movie begins with the tension filled auction in contemporary Montreal, where “the red violin”, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, is being auctioned off. It is also attended by New York-based musical historian (Samuel L. Jackson). But instead of staying with the auction all the time, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy and then follow it as it makes its way through an 18thcentury Austrian monastery/orphanage, a violinist in 19thcentury Oxford and China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Each time it brings the person who owns it a lot of fame, but also bad luck and despair, often resulting in the death of the owner or someone the owner really loves.
It is not just an ordinary drama or thriller, the story is as original as it can get. The physical setting, the background score and the superb acting only authenticates the movie. So we might feel uncomfortable with the subtitles, but it only makes you feel the movie more and draw you into the story more.
Enough about it, I will not give away any of the plot in hopes that when reading this you will take my advise and see this film and judge it yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Trivia: According to wikipedia: The film was inspired by one of Antonio Stradivari’s violins, the Red Mendelssohn (1721), which is currently played by Elizabeth Pitcairn, heiress to the PPG fortune, whose grandfather purchased it for her 16th birthday for $1.7 million at auction at Christie’s London. She is one of the few soloists who performs the Red Violin Chaconne composed for the film by John Corigliano.