I’m going to admit that I was looking forward to this film. Which is strange, because I didn’t expect it to be good. I even expected to be annoyed by the Irish accents. And you know what, I was right. I enjoyed it despite its flaws. Of course its main flaw was Mr. Franco, or maybe it was just the character of Tristan. He was a div. Total and utter div. Which of course meant that the whole romance aspect just didn’t work.
Maybe you want a basic plot outline?
Well its the Dark Ages. Britain lacks a leader and the tribes are divided and weak, easy prey for the organised Irish under King Donnchadh. Lets leave aside for a moment the fact that Ireland was never united under one king, and move on to much more important matters. Like the way they pronounced Donnchadh. See, they went and got the hard part right, they inserted the a in between the n and the ch, they even realised that the dh was silent. But they pronounced the name Don-a-ca. Nope. Wrong, dun-a-ca. How hard is that to say?
But I suppose that isn’t really important, just annoying.
What is important in a love story is chemistry and passion. And I’m afraid there isn’t any here. None. At all. Franco is boring and emotionless. And Myles has little to do but look upset. So the film promises to be a bit of a yawn-fest.
Apart from Rufus Sewell’s Lord Marke. He really is great in it, its a pity that he isn’t the star of the film, cause muzzy headed Franco is a bit pants.
Marke is a lord in Britain, and he want to unite the tribes together so they’ll outnumber the Irish and be able to fight back. There is quite a bit of an Arthurian sort of theme going on, uniting the people, freedom, fighting oppression and all that rubbish. But he’s also a good man. Kind and just plain nice. Maybe they could’ve made more of his feelings of insecurity at not being “whole” but overall Lord Marke is the only character you really feel has any depth to him.
Back to the plot? Oh yeah, Tristan, wounded and believed dead by his friends washes up in Ireland. Isolde takes him in and with her “herb knowledge” saves him. Of course they fall in love, but Tristan must leave Ireland or else Isolde’s father, a loveless man, clearly the baddie, will find him and kill him.
As a result of a plan to divide the British tribes King Donnchadh holds a tournament, inviting all the best warriors from Britain to fight. The prize will be his daughter’s hand in marriage and a whole heap of land. Of course, because Isolde earlier gave a false name to Tristan he doesn’t realise that he is fighting to win his love for his lord, Marke. You can see where this is heading right? Love-triangle, duty, homour, romance, moonlight-meetings, betrayal. Only tone down any emotional impact you think any of this might happen. Apart, of course from Marke’s feelings for Isolde, and his reaction when he finds out the truth.
Overall the film is worth skipping. Its mindless entertainment, made likeable by Sewell’s performance, but I’m not sure whether that’s enough for other people to pay to see it.