Imagine how delightful it is to obtain something that one has anticipated for throughout an entire childhood, adolescence and subsequent years! Something so magical has really happened to me. TinTin my childhood hero, the intrepid detective has finally come to life on big screen. This manifestation of Tintin takes place in all the glamour of 3 dimension technology. Naturally I, an avid Tintin fan at last got what I have desired for such a very long time. It is probably important to mention that the closest I had been to Tintin was a Tintin shop I came across in 2007 in Gamla Stan, Stockholm.
I heard about the movie in the beginning of 2011 while it was in the make. For about a month now enchanting movie commercials of the Adventures of Tintin have been flaunted on the white and blue body of driving by local MTA buses. Tintin naturally was a must see movie for me this season.
I have always been an ardent devotee to all good stories of adventure fictions genre. Though the two men,Hergé and Steven Spielberg are from two very dissimilar time and medium of work, their extraordinary accuracy and minuteness in every detail work put them on the same high pedestal. I have huge appreciation for marvelous master workmanship delivered by both Hergé and Steven Spielberg in their respective fields.
Even if I tried, I couldn’t say that I am the only one in my immediate circle, who knew who Tintin was before the release of this movie. To begin with, I have many friends from childhood who very much like myself, have been justly allured by the inescapable appeal of heroic Tintin. I have no hesitation to say that I probably was the most obsessed-by-Tintin kid in my group. My husband who is a Swedish is naturally not new to Tntin either. He also grew up with Tintin books. But I took this obsession far more seriously and probably somewhere down the line of my subconscious search for Tintin I had discovered Tintin in my European husband ( Of course I am joking but I happened to have heard this joke number of times from my family).
That being said, it becomes quite evident that I had been slightly flawed about Tintin’s nationality all this time, until watching Spielberg’s movie. I have to explain the back-story here, particularly for those who are getting to know Tintin for the very first time. I, like many Tintin fans, had virtually never heard Tintin’s voice prior to this moive. There might have been some form of a Tintin cartoon in the 60s and more recently a French movie was made also. But timing, location or popularity of those productions were not appropriate enough to infiltrate into my world. Neither did I hear Captain Haddock’s Voice before. I am glad that I waited this long. Needless to say, this long enduring deficit has been redeemed at last through the Secret of The Unicorn, in which Spielberg has fashioned bona fide, firmly definitive personification to the classic characters which were originally given life on paper and color, decades back by Hergé through minute details and quaint intricacies.
At the Imax 3 D theatre, I heard Tintin speak for the very first time at the out-door market place as he thanked a street artist for drawing a beautiful portrait of him. I was quite surprised that Tintin spoke with a clear English accent. I had never expected Tintin to be an English bloke. Perhaps a Belgian or a Dutch and my imaginations traveled between few other European countries but never to England. However, as I saw the complete portrait of Tintin presented by the street artist, my heart was filled in assurance, “yes it is our good old Tintin alright”. Here is how he looked on the portrait. He was clearly the Tintin I knew. Avid Tintin fans will know why I had this confusion about Tintin’s nationality. Hergé had never definitively mentioned where Tintin hailed from. It was just somewhere in Europe. It had worked out well for Tintin’s popularity as every European nation had their own translation of Tintin. And Tintin could be from anyone of those countries.
The rest is action packed, adventure filled , staggering escapades of Tintin, his dog Snowy and his sidekick, the Scottish boat captain Haddock in the world of somewhere between 1929 to 1940’s. It is important to say that every book of Tintin is bound to remind the reader of movies such as the Mummy or Indiana Jones. The reason probably is because Tintin’s time coincides with the time of 2nd world war and Colonial adventurism of archeological discoveries. Hergé also grew up at a time when first international airlines came along heightening this adventurism even further.
The villain is saccharin, a rogue whose ancestor a scoundrel himself from another life had rivalry with Captain Haddock’s ancestor who was also a sea captain just like Captian Haddock himself. Both Saccharin and Captain Haddock have uncanny resemblance to their respective ancestors. The story is about blood revenge, a race that the ancestors left unfinished. In the middle of the ocean in another life their two ships were burnt and sunk under the ocean during a blood battle between the two. Captain Haddock’s ancestor’s ship sunk with a cellar full of gold and precious stones. He left behind Marlinspike hall, his residence and clues to the codes that reveals the coordinates/location where the ship and the treasure remains submerged under the deep ocean water. Captain Haddock’s grand father left 3 parchment paper scrolls in the musts of 3 identical replica models of the ship the Unicorn. One of the model ships was in Saccharin’s possession in Marlinspike hall. One was in a bullet proof cascade in the possession of the wealthy Omar Ben Salaad at an imaginary Moroccan port Bagghar.
Every scene of the movie is perfectly depicted. Captain Haddock, around whom the story primarily revolves in this movie, is a usual side kick of Tintin in most of the other Tintin stories. Bianca Castafiore Emerald brings even more laughter to the movie as her high pitched glass shattering opera voice cracks all glass in her surroundings including the pair of spectacles of Omar Bin Salaad as well as the bullet proof glass cascade where one of the 3 unicorns rested. Three dimensions absolutely added an important dimension to this amazingly crafted movie.
At the end of the movie, the audience in the gallery gave a round of applause though none of the artists were there in person to hear the applause of the audience. But the whole experience made it more pleasant and theatrical. We left the theatre thinking when we will be able to watch the next Tintin movie.