We went to see the movie Kingdom of Heaven last night at Century Cinema and were very surprised to find how packed the theater was. In order to find available seats for an 8:00pm screening, we had to buy the tickets at around 1:00pm. Apparently, Friday night is becoming movie night in Jordan. Anyway, the movie itself was well made, with superb cinematography and fine acting, although I’m not sure how accurate it was historically. Orlando Bloom’s performance was surprisingly top-notch. He really was the star of the film.
Kingdom of Heaven, which details a story of battles between crusaders and Arab Muslims over Jerusalem, was also well made in the sense that the spoken Arabic was actually accurate for a change. Unlike some other Hollywood productions, which used Iranian actors (or even a Maori native of New Zealand), indigenous Arab actors played the designated parts here.
Since I’m Jordanian and naturally biased towards my country, I couldn’t help but notice how many times the Jordanian city of Karak was mentioned in this movie. Even a whole scene took place inside the Karak castle. Personally, I think Jordan’s Ministry of Tourism should do something to promote the castle and city of Karak following the movie’s release. [Here’s a photo tour]
I’m quite sure Karak will become a name familiar to many after this flick’s run. My suggestion to the ministry of tourism: For crying out loud, market Karak as a tourist destination. Hollywood did their part (for once), now it is time to do yours.
Thanks for the push…
I suppose I will have to take hubby to watch it now!
I haven’t seen it yet. I admit I was annoyed by initial reports (two years ago) that the movie would not be Crusader, but in light of more positive developments in the Middle East I suppose I can let that go in the spirit of mutual goodwill.
I was amused by Natasha’s use of the phrase “For crying out loud,” though, which I believe has its origins in English-speaking Christians’ attempts to avoid blasphemy – what’s called a “minced oath”.
“For Christ’s sake!” is a common exclamation when someone is surprised or appalled, though it is blasphemous. People will often begin with “For Chri…” and finish with “…ying out loud!” especially when children are present. “Goshdarnit!” is a similar example, as is “Gee whiz!” An old one, “Criminy!” seems to be making a comeback, and “Jiminy Cricket” is a really old one picked up by Disney for some reason. Both of those last two mix up “Christ” or “Jesus Christ” and domini, the Latin word for “Lord”, frequently used as a substitute for “God” in the old Catholic mass.
There are a lot of minced oaths, many don’t necessarily involve religion such as “Shucks!” or “Darn!”
In North America at least, I think French-speakers do the same thing, especially since most of their curses are rooted in blasphemy. English curses are usually rooted in genital region functions and Spanish features a wide array of animal analogies and metaphors as curses.
And actually the crusades started with the ethnic Turks and not Arabs. People didn’t have a grasp on nationality back then anyways, that’s a relatively modern concept that draws on perceived ties to language, religion, and racial build up of a region. That’s why the concept of a united “Arab Nation” doesn’t fly, it only benefits from the sameness of language. So it’s really not accurate to claim the crusades were fought with the “Arab Muslims”. Arabic the language, however, was the lingua franca of the Muslim lands, hence the misconception.
Salah al Din was a Kurd.
as a keraki…i agree 😀
Natasha, i totally agree with what you say. I should start my marketing plan soon and print thousands of t-shirts with the picture of the castle on the back and kingdom of heaven on the front….maybe they’ll be a hit like the titanic t-shirts they still sell in il-balad. hehe….
I really enjoyed the film, loved the cinematography, and the overall tone and balance of it. I was also happy to see Ridley Scott decide to use a music piece by a composer i know, Patrick Cassidy who is one of ireland’s top classical composers, he is quite amazing in his compositions.
What im even more happy to see is that al-karak, was a major part of the film, and as we say ” Shibabek yal karak…kilhon rijajilli”
I didnt know that we had that advanced horrible technology to destroy and bring down the walls of Jerusalem in the way it was in the movie. All who were in the theater ( all of them but me) were stunned of how advanced the weaopons that were used. And you call this accurate ! But it is a good movie because it is in the past. I think whats accurate though the script on the screen at the end which says that almost after 1000 years, peace is still elusive in that part of the world.
Although not perfect, the movie is “generally” accurate from a historic sense. One subplot is wholly fictional, however, and that is the relationship between Balian and Sibylla; the makers of the movie just wanted to infuse some romance into it – all historical records point to Sibylla being very fatihful to her hubby.
Hollywood knows better than to offend Karakians, Issam.
Weilak yalli ta3dina ya weilak weil….
I missed the 8pm show yesterday but catched the 9:15 one 🙂 I am sure glad that I did.. I really liked it, and I agree with you about Orlando Bloom. The thing that I liked the most is that this is that it had been a looong time since I saw a Holywood movie that have Arabs in that isn’t offending, I really liked it, and give it a 9/10 🙂