Monday, 27 August 2012


“Good sense about trivialities is better than nonsense about things that matter.” - Max Beerbohm

Last weekend we watched an absolute lemon of a movie. I must admit that I tend to like historical dramas, ancient epics, mythological fantasies and adventure thrillers, so when I saw a movie on special at our video store, which seemed to combine some of these genres I picked it up. Unfortunately, it was a wrong move. The film was a disaster zone and fit for consumption only by kids who know no better. No wonder it was on special…

It was Tarsem Singh’s 2011 “Immortals” starring Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto and John Hurt. The plot was supposedly based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur of the labyrinth fame. However, it had as much resemblance to this myth as does chalk to cheese. There was someone called Theseus and it was set in mythical Greece (I think, although the soldiers’ uniforms looked like they were Romans) and there was a sort of labyrinth and a sort of a bull-headed thing, but largely it was all bull.

The plot in fact was a strange amalgam of many things that would not amalgamate. It was supposedly a recreation of an ancient Greek myth, with lots of blood and gore and special effects and scenes designed to show the 3D effect and more blood and more gore, and more CGIs… The film was a mixture of grade B epic movie, a shoot-‘em-up video game, adventure dick flick, mythofantasy hodge-podge. Charlie and Vlas Parlapanides the screenwriters deserve an anti-medal for this dog’s breakfast of a script.

If you are familiar with and like Greek mythology, this movie is not for you. It is full of inconsistencies, misrepresentations, inaccuracies and inept renderings of the classics. Theseus was not a “bastard” and a peasant, the Olympian gods were 12 not six (and they constantly interfered with humans, unlike the “rule” of free will as in this movie). The titans were not as represented and Phaedra was a princess not a priestess. Did I mention Hyperion was a titan and not an evil king as shown in the movie? And Stavros (one of the heroes) is a Christian name, which has no place in myths set in pre-Christian times. And the Monks shown in quasi-Byzantine monasteries are definitely out of place too.

The acting was predictably mediocre, but given the bathos of the script, perhaps the actors are not to blame too much. And there was so much fighting and blood and gore. I think you can tell we did not enjoy this film. I did not expect Tarsem Singh to be part of such bilge, especially after directing “The Fall”, which was quite an amazing film (see my review here).

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