Just back from watching Alexander The Great with W & T. I've read a lot of very critical reviews about the movie, but since Alexander is a fascinating character, I had to see for myself. And I can tell you that the degree of ridicule and damnation the film receives is by no means justified. It is far better than Troy for starters.

So, what went wrong? I think Stone used an outdated film language which would have been all the rage in the late seventies. Think of Alexander as Platoon set in the fourth century bce. And add a truly horrible soundtrack and a bit of over-indulgence in the melodramatic department. But other than that, it's a satisfactory movie which portrays the character rather appropriately, I would expect. Rather challenging to think of Alexander as the first proponent of avant la lettre liberal globalisation! The battle scenes are also quite well done with some nice (and literal!) bird's eye views of the strategic dynamics, especially at Gaugamela. And there's a great cast as well. Rather surprising is the amount of Scottish accent that you get to hear - I wonder whether that is Stone's equivalent to ancient Greek. Certainly completely unasked for is Olympias' attempt at a balkanic sounding accent.

Overall, if you're interested in the character, go see it. If you're interested in a great movie however, don't. This movie is another confirmation that Hollywood is unable to deal with the really great materials of mankind. T mentioned on the way back that he would have preferred it done in the style of the sixties Ben Hur or the Ten Commandments, with Technicolor and all. If it's true, which I honestly don't know, it would be quite tough evidence of incapacity of contemporary movie making. What do you think?

Meanwhile, all the best to my father, who has broken his leg tonight and is in hospital for expected surgery tomorrow!

No comments: