Beowulf

Discussion in 'Movie Reviews' started by BayouHuguenot, Nov 21, 2007.

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  1. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    The epic poem Beowulf has long been one of my favorites. I consider it a masterful retelling of the Christian story. The story oozes with heroisms and encourages one to great deeds. Oddly though, for all of its literary glory, it has rarely been put to movie form. No longer. A few years ago some film director botched the story in Beowulf and Grendel. Therefore, any other Beowulf story would be an improvement (for example, I could wave a wooden sword around and probably have a better film).

    Picture
    As many already know, the cinematography in Beowulf is not quite real life and not quite cartoon. The closest comparison is to calling it an "adult Shrek." Indeed, some of the characters look exactly like some guys off of Shrek! :lol: Anyway, the picture quality is superb. It was very clever and well-done. On the other hand, the fact that it is cartoonish is what allowed it to be a PG-13 film, and not R.

    Dialogue
    Some cliches here and there, but otherwise a good dialogue. There is some cursing, to be sure, but not that much. I can't remember any distinct examples. However, there is some crude dialouge (although, truth be told, that's probably how Vikings acted).

    Sex/Nudity
    There were no actual shots of people having sex (thankfully!). There were more than enough implications and suggestions. Clever camera tricks kept it from being R-rated. There are about 8 or so major deviations and decisive re-interpretations of the movie. This is one of them. To say I was disappointed does not cover it.

    Violence
    Well, the point of the story is to kill monsters, so violence is to be expected. Even so, it was over the top.

    Worldview

    This part is interesting. As much as they botched the Beowulf story, they kept a lot of Christian elements in. In other words, you see an undeveloped Christian worldview. References are made to Christ killing the demons and spirits. So far, that is biblical and would seem to suggest an apologetic. But I think they had a different point in mind. About 20 years passes after he presumably kills Grendel's mother (he didn't, actually--another deviation from the story). The Danish culture moves from Paganism to Christianity, but the culture seems to be gloomier. It is suggested that Christianity is gloomy whereas Paganism is not. Instead of being an apologetic for the faith, it is actually a counter-apologetic.

    Overall Review
    Don't see it. Purists will hate it in particular. It is a postmodernising of Beowulf. The bad guys in the movie are not Grendel and his mother, but rather Beowulf's antiquated notions of right, wrong, heroism, and truth. There is one positive aspect to the movie. It does show how power corrupts. The problem is that this is not true to the actual story.

    I didn't stay the whole time. I walked out midway. There was a scene when a lot of years had passed. Beowulf is grimmer, grayer, and grizzled. That is to be expected. He comes home from battle and hugs/kisses (Presumably) his wife (that was suggested they would marry before the skip in time). I am thinking to myself, "He looks older but she looks younger than ever." Then his wife approaches the two and doesn't seem shocked/angry/surprised that he is making out with a younger maid. I am thinking to myself, "They made Beowulf into a polygamist. This is past the border."

    If I were Beowulf, and I were alive today, I would sue for slander.
     
  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Ha, Beowulf wouldn't sue! He'd pick up his batleaxe or rip your arm clean out of its socket!
     
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