Review by Paris Jade
Lost Illusions, set in 1821, follows Lucien de Rubempré, a lower-class poet, as he decides to embark on a journey to achieve his dreams in Paris. In doing so, he finds the darker sides of the art business and tries his best not to stray away from his true goals.
This film does a great job of introducing you to the characters as quickly as possible and going straight into the actual plot. You aren't stuck watching meaningless exchanges and such — Lucien actually leaves for Paris after the first 10 minutes or so into the movie. They give you a quick setup, and you're in. Along with this, you still get to know the main character well enough to find a liking for him. You can tell he's serious about his goals, and you start rooting for him... until he gets to Paris. Once things take a turn in the film, there are a few scenes that are just honestly quite boring. You don't seem to care for any of what's happening. Skipping to the end and seeing if he makes it or not is better than spending your time actually watching it. It's too long of a movie.
The actors did a fine job with the script they were presented with. You can definitely sit down and watch it and enjoy yourself at certain points of the plot, but some scenes are one big snoozefest. It's not something you'd recommend to a friend unless they are very into that century, Paris, and literature. The casual moviegoer might not find this incredibly appealing or entertaining whatsoever. But if you are someone who does enjoy those types of things, then, by all means, watch the film — you will enjoy it. There's a great deal of drama and romance and all types of "behind the scenes" work in printing articles in 1821. It's also set in Paris, which gives the perfect and beautiful scenery to have magnificent shots. There are wonderfully directed shots of 1800s Paris. As you see everything through Lucien's eyes, the second he gets to Paris feels like a dream, but then it slowly turns sour as he finds more things out. It definitely draws in a certain type of crowd.
There's nothing better than watching a film of someone chasing their dreams. However, the type of dream they chase is what crowd you will bring in. Lost Illusions does a good job of portraying Paris in the 1800s and showing you its darker and more corrupt sides. The only thing is, would you be the type of person to watch that? It's a good film just for certain people.
You can watch Lost Illusions in select theaters now.