We watched Alexander the other day. Yes, it made it to Doha that quickly. Impressive no? I know the critics were very hard on this epic, so I’ll try to be less so.
In spite of having to sit for three hours non-stop to watch a gory saga, I found the film to be informative, as I was not really aware of all this infamous conqueror’s travails. But I did take it with a grain of salt because you just can’t trust Hollywood’s version of history.
The star of this movie for me was Angelina Jolie, although her fake accent irritated me a bit — particularly the way she rolled the letter ‘R.’ Val Kilmer was very good as well, although his screen time was brief.
As for Farrell, well, I understand he is supposed to be a natural blond in this movie, but really, what’s up with the black eyebrows?
Overall, I didn’t regret watching the movie and thought it was worth my money. I just expected something quasi-perfect from a legend like Oliver Stone but this one didn’t quite get there.
Thanks Jeff for the well thought input. I have to point out that that article wasn’t written by me. Heavens forbid, I am not THAT interested in the topic. But I have to agree with you, the movie has its plus sides. It’s just my Persian upbringing, I get “jav-zadeh” (caught up in the moment) as the saying goes.
Amir, of course we care 🙂 and point taken. You are right. Hollywood is not a good source for the facts by any means. It is entertainment and hopefully will be taken as such but I still contend it has something to offer.
As for books, they cannot be relied on completely either, the DaVinci Code being a case in point. But here, Alexander’s director Oliver Stone put as his right hand man someone he considered to be the preeminent expert on Alexander: Robin Lane Fox. Fox wrote a book on Alexander in 1973, is the author of the longest-running newspaper column in the United Kingdom and is fairly well obsessed with dear Alex. He was Stone’s source and guide throughout filming. Fox even requested to be in the lead 10 men of every cavalry charge being filmed. So you can assume he’s a bit of a nutter.
But in all this it must be remembered that history is written by those victorious, that everything regardless of source or form comes through its own filter. Many think Fox is way off in his take on Alexander. If Stone was as close as he claims to Fox’s tenets, then comparing it with the information Arash linked to reveals Fox to be more than a little wrong.
Point is, even books are not the penultimate source of the truth. I tend to trust the individual over the written word or visual representation. But everything is still filtered through experience and bias. Movies, particularly Hollywood flicks, are heavily filtered. I think most viewers know this. For the little coterie I call my friends, we view these things as an opportunity to turn a corner and learn new things after the film has peaked our interest. So, as I say, I tend to lean toward the idea that some good can come from even poor, bad or just plain wrong information in a film.
People always get worked up about it, of course. The furor around Nash’s portrayal in A Beautiful Mind was well placed since the film completely re-wrote a known history. But I always view a film with the caveat that it is entertainment first and foremost. Entertainment can be dismissed or serve as a stepping stone. I just prefer to regard it as the latter.