Wednesday, March 31, 2010

BEOWULF

Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn
Brendan Gleeson, John Malkovich, Angelina Jolie


"Pride is the Curse"


HBO



It is surprising what a dose of insomnia can do to my movie viewing habit. I couldn't sleep so I ended up watch digitally enhanced actors play out an old epic poem set centuries ago in a God forsaken place. I'm not really fond of this genre.

Ray Winstone who I've known to be a good actor but with a cockney accent so I barely understand what he says is Beowulf. He has been 'computerized' that you barely recognize him at all. I even thought he looked more like Sean Bean than Ray Winstone. He is a brave Geat warrior who heeds the pleas of King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) to get rid of the menacing monster Grendel that has been tormenting a tiny kingdom called Herot. A somewhat egotistical yet fierce warrior, Beowulf seeks glory. After killing the monster, he has to confront its mother (Angelina Jolie). A creature that takes the form of a seductive woman and so she makes a demonic deal with Beowulf who then reigns supremely as the next King of Herot.

After the fierce battle, there seemed to be a lull both in the storyline as well as the film. The gap was noticeable. I wish they explored his reign as the King more extensively. But the last few minutes though was quite exciting as King Beowulf comes face to face with the aftermath of his 'sin'. His personal demons literally coming to haunt him in his old age.

Robert Zemeckis's version of Beowulf was interesting to say the least. It had all the great special effects and the computer generated scenes. The grandiose set design of a very bleak place. Violence and graphic gory bloodbath take center stage. And a cast that has been digitally programmed so they act like cartoon characters. But it wasn't cartoonish at all in its delivery of a folkloric character.

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