A look at the poster or trailer will attract the average male to drag somebody along and queue for its tickets. It's got the medieval theme, monsters, the classic David vs. Goliath story, and it's got Angelina Jolie. Mind you, I went for the movie because of the initial three, and not the latter. I'm not a fan of her, no I don't know why, but I just ain't attracted.

When the movie played, I was a bit shocked as in my mind I pictured a real-life movie, but instead it was a full-CGI movie. All the better, I thought. It was like watching a video game's FMV (Full-Motion Video, if you will), but here you get to watch it from the beginning to the end, a full 115 minutes, which is a pleasant change.

The movie starts with a celebration being held in King Hrothgar's new drinking hall, the Heorot. The King, played by Anthony Hopkins is carried into a hall in a tandem and his garment almost falls off in his drunken stupor. (phew, luckily that didn't happen.) His people sing and dance and their joy so great, voice so loud and mood so merry that the noise can be heard miles away. Enter Grendel, an abomination of a man that's got 'super-hearing' and only converses in Old English. Apparently, the noise has disturbed his sleep and in a rage, Grendel slaughters all the noise-makers in Heorot. The King and his Queen are spared however, whereas the kingdom's 'warrior', Unferth, played by John Malkovich, takes a dip in the pool to escape the slaughter.

The light sleeper

Hrothgar closes his new hall, and announces that the one who would slay Grendel will inherit half of his kingdom. We're introduced to Beowulf, played by Ray Winstone (his Beowulf looks a lot like Sean Bean/Triple H) and the guy tells Hrothgar he'll slay Grendel. Come nightfall, Beowulf asks his men to sing and make merry in Heorot, and Grendel being the light-sleeper he is, wakes up angry and proceeds to Heorot to kill the noise-makers. Arrogant as he is confident, Beowulf decides to fight with Grendel in the nude, as he claims it's unfair to Grendel who has no armor. Now the camera angle is manipulated beautifully, as we never get to see 'little Beowulf' despite his acrobatic movements.

Beowulf pulls his adversary's arm off, and the defeated Grendel runs back to his cave whining to his mother that he was trashed by Beowulf before dying. Grendel's mother, upset by her son's death flies to Heorot and slays all of Beowulf's comrades, save Wiglaf. Hrothgar tells Beowulf of Grendel's mother and Beowulf goes to her cave to slay it, armed with Hrunting, Unferth's family sword. There he meets Grendel's mother, (a semi-nude Angelina Jolie) and falls for her seduction, and also the promises of him becoming King.

High-heels go back as far as the medieval times

He returns to Heorot, and lies that he's slayed the 'hag'. Hrothgar knows of his deceit and tells him that his curse has been passed to Beowulf, and announces him as his successor should he die. After the announcement, Hrothgar decides to go bungee-jumping but without the ropes and falls dead on the sea-shore, here in which his body is claimed by Grendel's mother. Beowulf becomes King, and after 50 years his past returns to haunt him.

His son, whom he conceived with Grendel's mother, a dragon, attacks his kingdom and Beowulf, claimed with old age decides to slay the dragon in order to repent for his past sins, as he claims that he has died may years before, clearly regretting his weakness.

The movie depicts the old English heroic epic poem in a new light, with Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman being the script writers. However, the movie deviates from its original poem, as the dragon is not his son, and Beowulf DID slay Grendel's mother. I enjoyed watching the movie, and I felt that it was a tad too short, even though it's running time was almost 2 hours. The script was beautifully written, as everything meshes together and there's no need to think in order to put two with two together.

Those who've read the poem or book may criticize it, as it's a major deviation, but it's the movie that introduces new readers to it, similarly to LOTR, Da Vinci Code, and other books which has been adapted into movies. The closing theme, 'A Hero Comes Home' by Idina Menzel is beautiful and truth be told, I stayed in the cinema just to listen to the song, something which I don't do when a movie's credits roll.

Here's a sample of the song.

Conclusion is, I enjoyed watching the movie, as it depicts a hero is not without his flaws. They're just human, who have their own weaknesses and prone to errors.


Wendy said...

:P a movie with sexy angelina jolie in it... btw nice songs!!

Anonymous said...

You mean someone else out there thinks that Sean Bean and Triple H look alike??
Sorry, that was random and I'm late with posting. I didn't see the movie... maybe if SB or HHH were in it I would have bothered...

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