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The Devil's Violinist
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Devil's Violinist More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

One does not have to be a musician to critique David Garrett.

9/10
Author: whitesalamander from United States
16 April 2015

To cop to another reviewer's judgement of me as a "pinhead" I loved this movie because: 1. I had never heard of David Garret and became more mesmerised by his violin playing the longer the movie lasted. 2. Mr. Garrett does not deserve an Oscar for his acting abilities but he deserves my praise and much praise from others for his musical performances in the movie. 3. I was deeply moved and inspired by his abilities to make the violin sing to me. 4. I know the movie is not a definitive historical work but it paints a broad enough brush for non-experts like to enjoy a long lasting "buzz" from the dazzling violin performance of Mr. Garrett.

In fact I spent some time on YouTube enjoying several other performances of Mr. Garrett. So this "pinhead" is now a die hard fan of the movie, Mr. Garrett and his supporting cast. I appreciate all of the hard work and effort that the writers, producers, directors and performers put into this lovely work.

This "pinhead" can appreciate criticism of the movie but the bitter, vitriol and ad hominem attack upon the people who worked hard to create is way overkill. The Devil's Violinist is not perfect but it certainly is "good enough."

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17 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful music hides a very simple and sudden story.

8/10
Author: Jesse Boland from Burnaby, BC Canada
10 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is what misery of a lost soul and a deeper loss of the heart would sound like. We are given a feast for our ears, set in a very clean Victorian era world. The Devil went down to someplace, and dug up our Paganini, a Mozart type in a similar world just a few decades on or so. This movie is no Amadeus, there is no expansive epic story that digs deeply into the souls of any of the characters in this movie, in fact things are all very straight forward, and there is only one little mystery left up to you, and even that is not too easy to believe. I Enjoyed the music, and the settings of this movie, however small, and closed in all of the sets were. There is some really nice moments of tension that is built up during the more intense Violin playing, and I recommend this movie for those, the characters are all acted fantastically, by a wonderfully diverse, and experienced cast. However that does not save the story which is really predictable, and mostly hollow. If you like musicals, you will enjoy this, and there is a nice look to everything so I have to give the production team a solid nod for making the most of what they had.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

If Syfy Channel Tried To Make a Drama

4/10
Author: maestrojon from United States
13 May 2015

This is what it would be like.

It wasn't entirely unwatchable, but it was not a good movie by any means. CGI was distracting, although if you look at it as art, they did a good job, just not realistic enough to be passable.

I was surprised Bernard Rose was the writer and Director, who also did the same for Immortal Beloved. Perhaps this movie was just missing Gary Oldman? The movie seems to be confused whether Paganini is the main character or not. It is filled with sub-par, some acceptable, and some over-acted performances. I thought Andrea Deck was good. David Garrett as Paganini, well, maybe his performance was more related to the script. I did enjoy all his performance scenes (performing on the violin, you dirty minded people you).

Am I the only one that noticed St. Patrick's Cross flag flying over London? You'd think Bernard Rose, an Englishman, would catch that. It was clearly in the hands of the Syfy special effects gurus at this point, so maybe the he had no hand in post-production. Or maybe there was a time England was flying the British version of the Irish flag that I don't know about? I doubt it.

Overall, this movie was not great enough to be good, and not bad enough to be great. It falls right in the middle, as most forgettable movies do.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Unconvincing period biopic

4/10
Author: rooee from United Kingdom
19 June 2015

Niccolò Paganini (David Garrett) is a virtuoso violinist, stolen from Italian obscurity by the serpentine Urbani (Jared Harris) and brought to swinging 19th century London on the request of struggling promoter John Watson (Christian McKay). There his lascivious urges and his musical genius find equal outlet, until his heart is attuned to Charlotte (Andrea Deck), with whom he shares a harmonious partnership. Tragedy encroaches, however, as those who brought Paganini to the top conspire to cast him into the gutter once more.

What is the truth of Paganini? Bernard Rose's biopic plays fast and loose, which shouldn't matter because art strives for universal truths. Yet such striving often leads to cliché, as has happened here. As an instrument the violin lends itself well to furious solos, so the transition from classical musician to rock god is easy – throw in some long shaggy hair and stubble and sunglasses and we've basically got ourselves a Georgian Ozzy Osbourne. Not that the film is terribly anarchic. Early on we get some Dogma 95-influenced hand-held camera and hack 'n' slash editing but it soon gives way to familiar period stageyness.

Rose's film exists in the same realm as Milos Forman's Amadeus and touches on some of the same themes – genius emerging from chaos, both a creative and destructive force – but it's a relatively shallow movie, and one whose TV budget cannot be elevated by its impressively crashing classical soundtrack and its smoggy capital exteriors. Forman's film had a force-of-nature at its centre in the form of Tom Hulce. The Devil's Violinist has David Garrett, who's a wonderful violinist but no actor. Alarm bells ring when a character is meant to be thinking hard about something and actually grabs their chin.

But then, could any actor have provided a sympathetic portrayal? How charming is any man this juvenile; this unprofessional? Why should we care for a man who whinges about being "misunderstood" in one breath then dismisses his fans with the next? How do we side with someone who claims to love another and then accidentally shags a complete stranger with the same hair colour? Better writing and an actual actor might have helped us answer these questions.

Garrett isn't very well-supported, to be fair. Harris turns a scheming snake into a pantomime villain. Joely Richardson is gobsmackingly miscast as a cockney troublemaker. And while Alien Isolation fans may be pleased to see Andrea Deck in her full feature debut, I wouldn't expect the scripts to start piling on her doormat on the basis of this. But then, again, Charlotte is bafflingly written: she's genuinely repulsed by Paganini – a player and a player – only to spin on a sixpence once she hears him knock out a few notes, melody apparently trumping manners.

Rose has a firm hold of his film's darkly humorous tone, and the musical performances are, inevitably, spectacular (almost worth the rental fee alone, if for some reason an actual David Garrett Live DVD isn't available). But the decision to build a movie around a real musician backfires horribly, and with a bland and over-familiar script ("Who is the real you?" one character genuinely asks) it has to go down as a handsome, tuneful failure.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Mediocre at best, partially redeemed by the music

1/10
Author: nash@iit.edu
3 April 2015

They took the work of a genius and turned it into a mediocre movie. Bad acting particularly by the Paganini character with his cringe making, bland American accent. The writing and direction were just plain awful, I have seen better 30 second advertisements. If you enjoy the music of Paganini this movie is something to avoid. Some musical moments, mostly singing appeared as rays of sunshine through an overclouded sky. The characters were entirely one dimensional and quite unbelievable with poor acting and dreadful dialogue. No surprise then that the director was also the writer, and I will avoid any work of his I come across. Needless to say, any similarity between Paganini's life and this movie is purely coincidental. Even as just entertainment this is a boring, clichéd movie-don't waste your time watching.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Praising comment on the show

10/10
Author: okdjsnvy
14 October 2015

To be honest, I'm so astonished with the avg vote of this fabulous movie! I mean, why? Why in God's name should this movie get 6.1?? Do the voters not get it anyway? Do they know anything about Violin? Paganini ? There are always some weaknesses but 6.1?! How's that possible? David Garret might not be as expert as super stars, but ... I don't get you people ! I think the movie was awesome... The resemblance of David Garret's performance to Paganini's is the most fascinating point of the movie. Moreover, the character "charlote" sings way passionate... Therefore, I believe that there should always be some sorts of selection in voters, some people can't realize the objectives of a movie, they are only seeking for some routines, which would enthuse them...

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The music is the most important in this movie

9/10
Author: Devora Davidkova (379den77@gmail.com) from Sofia, Bulgaria
14 October 2016

Today we can't hear the performance of Paganini, there are only different interpretations. Fortunately, this virtuoso and composer has written on sheet many of his works.

I think the violin and her virtuoso are most important in this story. Everything else is just background. Yes, this background has flaws, but they are in the details. The feeling of the era is truthful and powerful. Playing and compositions of David Garrett - they are compelling. I will remember this movie primarily with the music.

Moreover - if Paganini could choose an artist to fulfill his role, he would probably prefer the same musician. David Garrett don't play himself - he has dedicated himself to Paganini in this film.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

EXCELLENT! *May Contain Spoilers*

9/10
Author: Stefani Barwick from Jacksonville, Florida
6 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*Possible Spoiler Alert!!*

I happened by this film on accident while going through lists of movies. I'd heard Niccolo Paganini's compositions in the past and figured I'd give the film a try. MAGNIFICENT! The actors in this portrayed their parts with such passion and delicacy. The music is heavenly.. Takes your soul on a journey. If you're a fan of classical music, dramatic movies, and immense feels, then this is definitely a film you should watch. I do believe I'll watch it again soon. The tricky Devil was a character who will play with your mind over and over. Betrayal and heartbreak was woven into this film as well, as you see with many dramas. Absolutely perfect. Must find it on DVD.

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14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

using a legend's shadow

Author: Armand from Romania
26 April 2014

beautiful decor and costumes, nice story and flavor of atmosphere, the old Faust pact and rock star motifs mixed . the problem is that all that pieces are not really enough. because Paganini is more than a legend and that movie use, in fact, only its shadow. because the golden images, the mixture of old and pretty ingredients who can reminds Farinelli or Amadeus are only for decoration not for be roots of an authentic , convincing story. it is a beautiful movie. but only aesthetic and , unfortunately, not at whole. and for not blame the team behind it - the honest good intentions are obvious - , it is important to choose the inspired parts - the music, the presence of Helmut Berger, the work of Jared Harris to save appearances. but , with little more courage and different angle about Paganini trajectory, it could be really an interesting movie. despite the ambition of makers, it is only a promise using the shadow of a legend.

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Absolute Brilliance, perfect snapshot, not to be missed

10/10
Author: cowboyerik (cowboyerik@aol.com) from Cincinnati, Ohio
28 October 2016

I waited a month for my copy and as it was not a USA region, watched on a large laptop. I am sure I did not get the full impact of the big screen and can imagine the full glory of the production. This movie title is not to be missed. It's the first of it's kind and a tribute to musical style long lost and resurrected as surely only David can provide. From my perspective as a learned musician he is the only modern living choice to play the part. While at times the movie may seem dark and perhaps entirely to brief considering the Paginini lived to be in his 50's, I think it's the correct snap shot. If you have an inclination to go back in time and witness musical history, this movie is for you.

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