Thursday, May 20, 2010

Robin Hood: A Review

I saw Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. I liked it fine. Here is why. It's directed by Scott who also directed the superb Gladiator, it features some heavy talent like Russell Crowe (Robin Longstride), Cate Blanchett (Marion Loxley), the uber-talented Eileen Atkins (Eleanor of Aquitaine, excellent choice, this!), Danny Huston (King Richard, the Lionheart), and most importantly it takes place in the time frame in which I am trained professionally, i.e., the twelfth century.

As a medievalist I found myself reacting to some of the R. Scott's interpretations which I found to be more of an instance of poetic license than history but, in general, the 'spirit' of the story seemed cohesive and complete. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the first 20 minutes where Richard, the Lionheart is in the battlefield while on the crusade. One of the things I thought would have added much to the plot was the inclusion of the especially close and personal relationship between Richard the Lionheart and France's King Philip Augustus. The plot in the film would have thickened ever so nicely if Ridley Scott had made some mention of this historical fact. But be it as it may, few directors can capture the pace of the battlefield and the heavy psychology of the hero the way Ridley Scott can. Crowe was a believable Robin, Blanchett portrayed a cool, collected Marion, and I don't think Eleanor of Aquitaine would have objected much to Atkins' depiction of hers. I recommend this film more for cinematic reasons than strictly academic ones.
Here's the official review of the film:

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Sra said...

I rather enjoyed it. A fresh retelling of the myth. Well cast. I was surprised that it hasn't received very good reviews from critics.

Josh said...

Russell Crowe plays the sad hero very well, no doubt. I'll see it.