June 20, 2011

The Red Violin (1998)

This is a guest post written by friend Varatha Rajan about the movie The Red Violin.

Directed by: François Girard
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Colm Feore, Monique Mercure, Don McKellar, Sylvia Chang, Jason Fleming, Greta Scacchi, Carlo Cecchi
Music by: John Corigliano

The movie begins here……………….
The film starts with the auction in Montreal for the lot no. 72 the masterpiece ‘THE RED VIOLIN’. It is auctioned to the rate of $250,000. The the story starts here.

Mr.Nicolo is a violin maker; he works out a masterpiece violin for his future child. By the mean time Anna asks Madame Cesca to predict the future. Cesca predicts the future through the 5 cards taken by Mr.Nicolo. The five cards predict the endless travel of the life of Anna.

This card indicates that she will have an endless travel, with lots of joys and sorrows. But within a couple of days Anna gives birth to her child as a price of her own life. After Anna’s death, the director brings the story to Vienna.

Cesca predicts that the second card means disease and suffering for those around Anna.

The son of Nicolo is bought to an orphanage in nearby town of Vienna. He plays the violin with his co students in the orphanage. After his death the violin moves on five to six generations. Finally it comes to the hands of Kaspar Weiss. The young boy is more talented than the others. He is sent to Vienna under the care of Poussin who adopts the boy from the orphanage with the help of monks. Kasper is clever and smart but has a severe heart disease. Poussin teaches him to play the violin with a speed equal to Poussin meter. After some days the boy dies.

Weiss is buried at the orphanage he grew up in, and Poussin inquires about the violin, seeing how he would like to sell it to Mansfeld. The monks explain that the violin was buried with Weiss so he ‘could play it in heaven’. The violin is later stolen by grave robbers travelling in a gypsy procession, where it is handed down and played by several generations of gypsies, spanning another century before being taken to England.

Cesca's third card is Il Diavolo (the devil), and she explains that Anna will meet a handsome and intelligent man, that will seduce her ‘with his talent and worse’

Frederick Pope (Flemyng) comes across the gypsy procession setting up camp in his own backyard, with a female gypsy playing the violin. The gypsies rush to leave immediately, but Frederick has a different idea; he wants the violin instead, and offers sanctuary for the gypsy procession in addition to viewing one of his concerts. However, on the day of the concert, Frederick is having trouble coming up with a piece to play at the concert and sends for his girlfriend, Victoria Byrd (Scacchi). Frederick requires carnal inspiration, and Victoria serves as his fleshly muse, which inspires him to come up with a new piece. Victoria, an author, obtains her inspirations for her work through travel, and announces to Frederick that she needs to leave on a journey to Russia to seed a novel she is working on.

After Victoria leaves, the two lovers write letters to each other but while Victoria is finding much scope for creativity, Frederick has lost his inspiration to compose. He begins to deteriorate, bedridden, smoking opium. Frederick starts to cancel concerts soon afterwards as he has lost his will to play, and stops writing letters to Victoria. When Victoria arrives at Frederick's residence and hears him playing passionately, she knows he is getting his inspiration in someone else's arms. With gun in hand, Victoria bursts into Frederick's room to find him in the arms of a new muse, the female gypsy violinist. In a moment of rage, Victoria shoots the violin, the bullet grazing and damaging the neck of the violin. The tail-piece and strings come loose as the red violin spins out of Pope's hand. Victoria rushes out.

Frederick's final letter to Victoria states that he will be committing suicide and that he is leaving his entire estate to her. The violin however, ends up in the hands of Frederick's Chinese servant and he takes it back to Shanghai where he sells it to an antiques dealer. The violin is repaired, but a small jewel is removed from the violin's scroll work. It goes on display in the shop for over three decades, before being sold to a young woman with her daughter during the 1930s.

Cesca predicts the fourth card (Justice) means tough times ahead, featuring a trial and persecution, where Anna shall be guilty.

There were protesters against the foreign music. But Xiang protects the violin from them. Only Ming a small neighborhood came to know about this. Xiang hands over the violin to a music teacher. But he suicides himself since the matter leaked to the Chinese govt. through his neighborhood. The chine now exported their entire violin to the foreign countries.

Watch the movie to know about that…

Happy Reading!!!


  1. To karthick:
    hey u r doing a wonderful service of creating new bloggers

  2. To Varatha:

    ur post is nice and it is nice to note that u are writing


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