Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Alexander (2004)

The truth is Alexander is not that bad of a movie the critics made it out to be when it came out. I haven't had the chance to watch the theatrical version, so I am not familiar with the abysmal qualities of that 3-hour-long film. I have, however, recently viewed the slightly shorter (two hours and forty minutes) "director's cut" version. With a cameo by Mr. Stone himself - I doubt he featured himself in the original version.

The doe-eyed Colin Farrell - a talented actor - is an unfortunate choice for the lead role, as his face and voice is too familiar and - dare I say it? - child-like, which makes it harder for a convincing performance as one of the greatest military commanders of the ancient world. The remaining cast, with varying accents, make their way through a mess of blood, slo-mo prancing horses, a soaring soundtrack, and a handful of encouraging battle-speak. However, it all adds up to a film too aware of its glorious subject matter.

There is a lot to like about it - the costumes are immaculate and so are some of the scenery. My favourite was the Alexander vs. elephant image. Yet, it feels so empty. The supporting characters, including Angelina Jolie and her snakes, really do not make any impression on us and, with the exception of Ms Jolie, they are criminally underplayed and underrepresented. When Alexander's closest allies fall, the tears he sheds go wasted. We simply don't care. I think there is a wealth of material in this story worthy of a trilogy. And had it been handled that way, then Alexander could have rivalled some of the other famous trilogies. Sadly, it is an exercise in mediocrity - director's cut or not.


wheeler said...

truly stated, sir. This isn't a horrible film, but it IS misguided and a bit self-important. I love the idea for that Alexander narrative as a trilogy. You should do it! This story will never die...

Blarney said...

I was scared off of this film. I think the whole notion of Macedonians with Irish brogues would just be too ridiculous for me to get passed.


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