Master and Commander [based on books] by dir. by

28 November 2003

Genre: ,
Script: ,
Cast: , ,
Rated :

Just been to see Master and Commander: The far side of the Ocean and have to say I had a very enjoyable afternoon. Even before the film started I was entertained by the Irish Health Board’s anti-AIDs ad, even if it did elicit some anti-homosexual groans from a a couple of lads up the back of the cinema. Basically the commercial is a load of people having fun; there is a man and a woman, then two men, but no lesbians, and finally a person shooting up. The basic message of the ad is that while your body is enjoying fun remember to engage your brain.

Of course the whole afternoon put me in a good mood, so it is possible that that is the reason I enjoyed the film.
Part of the reason for my good afternoon was that ad mentioned above. If I could find a link I would put it here, but I can’t :(

I suppose I should really mention the film now shouldn’t I?
Lots of action, but also in there among the swashbuckling action there is also a couple of interesting issues raised. The ability of power to corrupt is thrown up on occasion, and the good doctor also raises the issue of how life in HM navy was not always a voluntary one.

These issues though are secondary to the main storyline: Jack Aubrey’s ship The Surprise has been sent with orders to sink, burn or take a prize of the French frigate the Acheon. No easy task though and almost from the start The Surprise comes off second best. There is also the issue of the divisions between the ordinary able seamen and the officer class.

What I found most interesting about the film was the young boys who were obviously officers in training. I cannot imagine any mother sending her teenage, or younger son off to sea for what may be many years, never mind into battle. Suppose it was a feature of the time though.

My personal favourite scene in the film is the wonderful officer’s mess scene and the issue of the two weevils. If you’ve seen the film that may bring a smile to your face? Also Paul Bettany was great as the doc. Russell Crowe was his usual in control self.

The cons then: Well I found the dialogue a bit stilted on occasion. I know, the dialogue is of the time, but I felt that while it may have worked in the book (haven’t read it so can’t comment on that), at times on screen it came across as a little forced. But that is a minor point. All in all an enjoyable film, some great sea battles and wonderful acting. Also James D’Arcy who plays Lt. Pullings is quite presentable ;)

Why did they change the ship from an American like in the book to a French one?

Also saw the trailor for Return of the King for the first time on the big screen. Yes I have already downloaded it, but watching it on a lickle ickle laptop screen just doesn’t compare. Not that I don’t love my laptop (I am using it now so have to be nice to it).

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