Sunday, 12 September 2010

Robin Hood 2010

I've been pleasantly surprised by the latest Robin Hood. I expected it to be far far worse, actually. The acting does appear rigid at times, but casting, costume and, well, grit, do deliver. Especially the role of Marion, which has been manhandled into the ranks of one very pissed off old virgin :) Fat friar, the sleazy sheriff, old Walter, they were all delightful. If you look close enough, there's quite a lot of talk of sex :))
          Two things take the cake above much of all other films recently seen (bar perhaps, of course, Avatar): the photography is superb (the scene where title appears to begin with) 

and bits of realism are overwhelming.. Some text is remarkably true-to-life. (About a horde of thousands of scared Englishmen crossing the Chanel?.. and a woman be in need of a husband to be worth anything at all..)  Even just the scene where Marion, naively, charges Godfrey on the shore, forgetting she's just a very feisty lady, but he is a professional soldier and above that, she's a lot, lot less heavy than he is. He pulls her off and basically just lets her armor drown her as he aims to stab her through the vizier. Armor was a bit of a bother in marine battles. Folk sank like stone. A knight could drown in a puddle.

Problem is, such a man is indeed magnificent to behold, but very, very soon a woman begins to think - I don't want this next fight to be his last. Let him stay with me, at home, get fat and clumsy, getting no more than his thumb hammered in his growing age. A warrior is all fine and cool to fancy, but not when you expect to live above 30.

Of course all the juddering camerawork, the battles which at times feel like a Saving Private Ryan in more iron, the emotionally unresponsive wooden male lead and the slightly confusing, politically-heavy/ideologically-black&white narrative, don't quite work for most movie fans, who grew up rooting for either Kevin Costner or Alan Rickman, or laughing at the Men in tights, ("...Because unlike other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an *English* accent.."). But I thought it would be a lot worse. I've seen it twice now and am in need of a far better copy. The 'Fate Has Smiled upon Us' song is also nice for my Mp3 'walkaround the errands' playlist. 

And one more bit... I am not sure I was the only one, but I loved the ruins in the story... The gate that leads to Peper Harow, which was once obviously a far more impressive structure..  The name itself means 'Pagan temple'. It's a private village nowadays - like it was in the old days :D Lean tower ruin when the camera follows the army about to face the invading french, and down to the hill-side-canvas white horse (though not quite as enchanting as the Uffington one), erected by the extinct druids, stoned on mead :D
             People tend to forget how magical old Britain used to be..