A delightful fairy tale, a post-modernist interpretation of very old themes, such as the quest for youth and beauty, the meaning of love, evil contxtualized, etc, all served with great humour and a light hand. The story of Tristan who loves Victoria and seeks to gain her hand by traveling to the end of the world (which happens to lie very conveniently beyond the village "wall") in order to find her a falling star. Once breaching the wall, Tristan has to deal with all sorts of magical beings, of the evil and ugly kind (Michelle Pfeiffer as an ugly witch is quite superb) and the bright and glittering type (Claire Danes of "Shopgirl"). In some way it is the anti Harry Potter since there are no good witches in this tale. It's fun to watch, the story rolls quite smoothly, no hidden darkness anywhere: the evil is pretty explicit and ostentatious, and quite beatable, for all the greed and spells that serve it. It would, however, have been just another cute summer movie, as tasty and as easily forgotable as a slice of tiramisu, if it weren't for Robert De Niro as the piratical Captain Shakespeare. Not since his role as Al Capone in "The Untouchables" has he bitten with such gusto into the role of the villain (with a twist, in this case). Frankly, the movie is worth watching if for no other reason than to see Captain Shakespeare worry about his reputation and prance about in drag.
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007