A Sort-of Neflix Movie Review – The Devil’s Violinist

OK, so I don’t go to the movies much. When I do it’s usually to see some geektastic event which usually starts out with a Marvel comicbook flipping pages, or with a scrolling updating shot letting me know which episode of the Star Wars saga I’ve stumbled into on that particular occasion. Every once in a while, I’ll get to see a film adaptation of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, or something animated.That’s just the way I roll. When I want to enjoy a really good chickflick – and I use that term with the deepest affection–I go to my paid streaming subscriptions.

So a few weeks back I noticed a movie that made me sit up and take notice: The Devil’s Violinist. Now, I must regress and give a bit of background before I proceed here. About a year and a half I started writing a book under my Cassie Sweet pseudonym that involved a violin virtuoso in Victorian England. My book is kind of a homage to Mary Shelley, but delves into the world of the dark fae. His Master’s Summon’s: Azgarth’s Chosen Book I sold to Dreamspinner Press Presents for a January release. Imagine my surprise when I am flipping through Netflix and find a movie that is eerily familiar to my precious book? I’m so damn close to wearing tin foil on my head when I sleep, it isn’t funny. However, the coincidence did make me want to see the movie to find out exactly where that movie and my book diverged. As I sat down to watch a few things became clear. 1) The movie was based on an actual person – mine is not. 2) The hero is unfailingly straight – mine is not. 3) The paranormal aspect of the movie was only hinted at but never confirmed – mine is not – it’s blatant and in your face from page one.

A bit about the movie.

Nicolo Paganini was the most celebrated violinist of his time. This portrayal has him meeting up with the enigmatic Urbani who ushers him into a life of debauchery and drug addiction. The story takes us from his beginnings when he couldn’t even get people to listen to him play a lively jig, to his rise to fame and eventual fall from grace.

Paganini is played by a real violin virtuoso – David Garrett. What surprised me the most is that he really isn’t a bad actor. Who knew? Granted the part called for a moody, broody, artist which is not all that hard to pull off, but there were some surprising moments where he really did a good job. As the credits rolled it became clear he served several functions – other than lending his talented hands to portraying Paganini’s monster talent – he was also the executive producer and wrote the musical score.

There were parts of this movie that were damn sad, others a bit slow, but overall entertaining. The best part, it was not all like my book beyond the fact the characters are both violinists and both have a fall…of sorts. If you are in the mood for a period piece with lovely costumes and a handsome hero that is the victim of his own fame, this is the movie for you.




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