September 2nd, 2007 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 4,786 Views
Went to see it late last night with friends. I did not know what the movie is about. I heard from completely forgettable commercials that the movie has Michelle Pfeiffer and De Niro in it, so I thought it might be worth a look. Well, it’s one of the strangest movies I’ve seen. For the first five minutes I thought I am in the wrong theatre. So many surprises! This movie is “adult Harry Potter meets Princess Bride with Pirates of the Caribbean”. I am saying “Harry Potter” and “Pirates” because of all the magic, talking through mirrors, structure of dialogs, flying sail-ships and grotesque costumes and acting. I am saying “Pirates” because of the action scenes with fencing and chases, accompanied by a similar music score. Princess Bride – for one reason only: combination of humor with fairytale in the background.
The plot: in a village isolated from outside world with a wall (try to read it in a crunchy voice) lives an 18-year old boy Tristan(Charlie Cox) who fancies marrying his love interest, cold-hearted Victoria (Sienna Miller). A star falls from the sky, and Tristan promised Victoria to get it for her in exchange for her hand in marriage. But he is not the only one chasing the fallen star: three sons and ghosts of their dead brothers (Primus, Secondus, Tertius, Quartus, Quintus, Sextus, Septimus and Quintus) of the dying King (Peter O’Toole) need to get the star to decide who is going to be the next on the throne of Stronghold (or was it Stormhold?). Also wanting to get the star to restore their youthful beauty are three two-hundred year old sisters witches (Michelle Pfeiffer). On the quest for the star Tristan is also helped by Captain Shakespeare (De Niro). Tristan is determined to complete the challenge and deliver the star to his Victoria in two weeks, but finds his true love during this period: the star turns out to be a girl Yvaine (Claire Danes).
The story is pretty predictable and cheesy, but many small surprises make it quite charming. Acting qualifies as “good”, sometimes even over the top a little bit. A lot of funny stuff, like lovers’ dialogs, transformation of goat to men and back, De Niro was doing his “comical DeNiro” thing and was funny most of the time when he wasn’t acting a fruit - the most memorable support role in this movie. He was having fun. Michelle Pfeiffer was nothing special – any other actress could’ve achieved same results. Claire Danes, who was so good in Romeo and Juliet) was shining in her role of the Star.
A joy to watch, lots of surprises, good humor, just a charming film. De Niro’s character was also funny. I did not like how the last prince and two witches died - compared to the energy of the rest of the movie that scene was underpowered.
It looked like a big-budget movie, but it seems to be wasted due to lack of marketing. Great date movie! Even though it is about two hours long and it was a late show and I almost didn’t sleep for two days, I enjoyed it a lot, although I did look at my watch a several times. A great surprise – I did not expect to see anything like it. I had a smile on my face how half an hour as I was driving home and thinking about the movie and good time spent with friends. Don’t wait for DVD – see it now on the big screen!
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