(For once) Mr.R was right.
We wanted to go see a movie, our choices being ‘Hitchikers Guide’ and ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. We had already been to see the ‘Interpreter’ last week and loved every minute of it. A fabulous movie – or paisa vasool as they say sometimes, back home.
From what little I knew of it, Kingdom of Heaven sounded like a bloody tale full of skewered heads and red drops all over the screen. What else could a story about the Crusades be like? Not being very partial to blood and gore movies (can’t stand them, in fact), I reluctantly agreed to go see it, because Mr.R was quite keen, given his interest in history and his propensity for collecting and retaining historical facts. I could always keep my eyes closed when it got too much.
(For once) I admit I was wrong. Kingdom of Heaven is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Sure, there’s blood; a depiction of the Crusades would be incomplete without it. This is a movie that leaves you spellbound with the visuals – I remember the opening scenes of the film, it is dark and the sound of horses hooves makes you want to look over your right shoulder so you can move out of their way in time. And through all the action in the beginning, there are the snowflakes. Falling, falling, falling in slow motion as everything else moves in real time. The direction is fabulously crisp, the sets and scale of the project simply magnificient. Even though most of the battle scenes are likely to be computer generated these days, one can easily be fooled into thinking that they got a million men to dress up in costume and chop off each others heads and limbs. Wonderful (not the chopping, but the expanse of people and landscape used.) At one point you get so drawn into the story that you forget you’re in a theatre with other people sitting around you, the sounds of Cokes being slurped noisily fading beneath the batte cries and the hooves.
There are some good actors here : Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons and Orlando Bloom. Director Ridley Scott elicits some fine performances.
This is a story that could easily translate into 2005. Nothing has changed for a thousand years. The fight for Jerusalem is still on.
For a more comprehensive review of the film, click here.
A must see for all of you who enjoy 1) history, 2) a fast, action paced film which makes you catch your breath, or/and 3) relish good visuals and Oscar winning (in my opinion, atleast) cinematography.