Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Beowolf and Grendel

I've always had a fondness for Norse mythology. So when I saw this disk in the local Blockbuster I knew I had to have it. Yeah, I know - I have absolutely no self-control.

So I bought it, brought it home and now I've watched it. Enjoyed it too!

Before I mention anything further I should say this was not the "I've Come to Kill Your Monsh-Tah!" Ray Winstone starring semi-animated Hollywood movie. Not that I'm going to say anything against that movie, just that it was a little too polished for my taste.

However there's another movie telling this tale - a co-production between Canada, the UK and Iceland starring Gerald Butler, Stellan Skarsgard, Ingvar Sigurdson and Sarah Polley.

This is a much grittier film and a hell of a lot more beautiful to look at. The scenery is simply magnificent - very bleak I'll grant you but still absolutely stunning. Iceland is a beautiful country and it reminded me just how much I want to visit the place. I've been meaning to go for nearly two decades since I first read about this mid-Atlantic country.

But I'm supposed to be writing about the film - I do get distracted so very easily.

The story follows the Norse tale more accurately than other adaptations. Grendel the troll seeks revenge on the Danes who'd killed his father. Beowolf hears of their plight and arrives to kill the troll.

So cue 100 minutes of raucous drinking, tales of great derring-do, general moodiness and moping and some occasional brutality. I'm being flippant here. It does sum the film but it doesn't actually tell you how good the movie is. And it is good I promise you. As long as you like films that don't feel they have to throw ten thrills a minute at you.

It's not the fatest moving movie. There is a lot of general jawing and no where near as much fighting as you might expect from a Norse myth. But I adore Chinese epic movies so films that take their time over a tale whilst looking beautiful as they do it. So no problems with pace...

It's also a little odd to hear the range of accents on show (or on sound) here. They haven't tried to hide Scottish or Northern English accents - even though the characters are supposed to be Danes or Swedes.

Fantastic!

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