Saturday, May 07, 2005

Movie review: Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of Heaven was quite a surprise. It is not really the movie what was advertised in the trailer. This is not a big hollywood action blockbuster. It's more of a big quiet movie about war, violence and religion. It doesn't aim to thrill or excite you. It doesn't even ask the viewer to take sides. This isn't really about christians vs muslims. It's a movie about people born into a conflict. The crusades began more than a hundred years before the start of the story in this movie, and the movie basically asks "what exactly are we fighting for?" For this reason even during the biggest battle scenes the director chooses to show the fighting in a slighly detached way. I guess a big percentage of the viewers think that's a bit cold and unexciting. Most people go into the movie expecting to see a big spectacle. Huge fight scenes. Armies of thousands, etc. And the movie does have all that, but it doesn't show you war to get you excited. It shows you a war to make you think. I'm not sure most of the people in the cinema yesterday appreciated that. In fact when I left I saw my cousin there and he told me that his friends told him that it sucked and he refuses to see it.

Know what kind of movie you're going into and you might like it. If you're looking for fun, this isn't it.


Kazablanka said...

kingdom of heaven was nice.. but I dont get how he became all amazing military leader guy cuz they didnt really show him develop.. he just went from being sad blacksmith to superhero and stuff.. but whatever, he's legolas and he's cute so he can do whatever he wants... oh and I really like the part where he's like "you'll face certain death!" and the other guys like "death is already certain" or something like that. I got shivers.

Kazablanka said...

oh and another part that was just great was when legolas was all 'but when the christians captured jerusalem they killed everyone'... and then salahuddin's like 'I am not them. i am salahuddin. SALAHUDDIN!!'


Kazablanka said...

Ok I know I'm invading your post with all my comments but I saw the movie yesterday tooo.. hmm do you think we were in the same cinema?? when the movie was over, did you see a girl trip on her way out??

if you did, that was me :)

Blue Chi said...

I'll be going to watch this movie in 20 minutes! Wish me luck. ;)

nomadica said...

we haven't gotten around to seeing it here yet, but my little brother saw it in muscat on wednesday and said 'it was boring and orlando bloom was too feminine for the role. they should have used someone more manly!'
i hope to watch it soon - i like historical stuff. but OD and Muscati, did you guys like it?

Kazablanka said...

why do we have to wish you luck when you are going to see a movie?

I dont understand =\

muscati said...

You might find this interesting:

Q. Are all the main characters depicted accurately?

A. Most are. King Baldwin of Jerusalem did die young from leprosy, but served as a respected ruler before that. (The mask he wore to hide the disease's effects may not be historically accurate, but hey, it looks cool.) Baldwin's sister Sibylla was unfortunately less noble than shown. Instead of trying to escape her inept and nasty husband Guy of Lusignan, she was besotted with him, and connived to get him more power.

Saladin is accurately portrayed. Though he unified the Muslim world against the Crusaders, his nobility and fairness were praised even by contemporary Christians. Also accurate is the depiction of Reynald of Kerak, who serves as the villain, both in the movie and in history. Reynald was known for his wanton cruelty to his enemies, and he particularly delighted in killing Muslims, often in flagrant disregard of truces. His vicious attack of a caravan carrying Saladin's sister actually happened, and earned him Saladin's implacable hatred.

The most fictionalized character is the hero, Balian of Ibelin. A man by that name did lead the defenses of Jerusalem (in the process knighting many of the city's young men, as shown) but further details about the actual Balian are scarce. He was an older, married nobleman, who served as a counselor to King Baldwin. But as Orlando Bloom plays him, Balian is a poor boy, an illegitimate son suddenly thrust into nobility. He's gorgeous, humble, an unbeatable swordsman, and ripe for a relationship with the beautiful Sibylla. Balian is -quite literally-too good to be true.


Blue Chi said...

Kaza, I just came back, and I enjoyed the movie a lot, I am sure it was because you wished me luck! :P lol

I was moved the most at the part when Orlando Bloom knighten all the men of Jerusalem. The funniest part when they director didn't have time for a whole recitation of the fatiha. :D

Wardat_il'7leej said...

Enjoyed the movie but could not really see since I had to strain my very bad seats even though we reserved the tickets @ 5 for a 10:30 show.

Never go to a movie on opening/ first night

OceanDream said...

I really enjoyed Kingdom of Heaven. I agree with Kaza, it was a bit wierd seeing Orlando Bloom turn into a great fighter just mere minutes after he was a depressed blacksmith. But, overall, it was a nice movie. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if we hadn't seen Hotel Rawanda the day before. That movie was just so touching and moving I am getting shivers just writing about it now.

But, definately a movie you should see.

illogicist said...

Despite the one or two minor flaws, I quite liked it. Actually, I liked it a lot. Funniest part was the 'love scene', with that lullaby playing in the background. The part that made me want to cringe most was that dialog between Salahuddin and that other general...ugh, the english was terrible! :p

Oh, and the arabic was terrible almost throughout, but it was still cool. :D