the_islander: (revolution)
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"... but I tell you that there have been times, when the mist comes down from the high moors, when I have more than half expected to see the lost Legion come marching home."


I am suffering. They made a movie of my Most Favourite Book Ever (TM). And they FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAILED!

If you don't believe me, watch this trailer.

[Spoiler alert:]
And I always thought the whole point about the book was that Esca was not Marcus' slave (at least not any more when they set out on their journey north)? That people can be friends or at least treat each other with respect even if they belong to different cultures? Or did I miss anything when I read it for like twenty times and do now have to be enlightened by some stupid Hollywood playwright? 

Besides, stupid people on the IMDB-boards - in the book there is a lovestory of sorts, just too subtle for our friends on the other side of the Atlantic, that's why they cut it out. Bet they also cut out Cub. And Marcus is so out of character even in the trailer (apart from the fact that he is - apparently - also not faking to be a Greek oculist, which basically breaks the whole logic of the plot to pieces).
Funny though that they gave the Romans American accents ;-)

No way I'm going to watch that movie.

(On the upside - it has Jamie Bell in it)

[EDIT: ] I think the director of that movie read a different book than I did. Honestly, where did you get that from:

"At the heart of it, the film is really about a son's quest to clear his father's name. Is that the way you saw it and what were some of the other themes in the movie that you were excited to play with as a director?

I guess that is really the main theme at the heart of the movie. Marcus, Tatum's character is a guy who is really taunted at school
(which school?) because everyone knows that his father humiliated Rome. (Nope. His father was merely a Centurion, not the commander of that Legion. That blame falls to someone else.) People talk about him behind his back all the time and that has turned him into an angry person. Someone who always feels that he is on the outside, which is how I saw it. Really in order, I suppose, to find out who he is and feel good about himself, he needs to find out what happened to his father. Did he die as a coward or not? What really happened to him? (NO, NO, NO, dammit. No one in the whole book ever talks about him behind his back, and he only goes running after his father when he has no other options left and is pretty much bored to death.) So that is for Marcus the through-line on the surface but we then layered in the relationship between him and Esca. That is something that has been radically changed from the book. Esca, the Jamie Bell character, exists but he is not quite the same. He becomes the slave and then he becomes this loyal servant who is loyal all the way through. There is no question of, is he going to betray him? There is no resentment from the underdog towards the superior individual. (Yes there is. Wanna have me cite pages?) So I felt that in the '50s, when the book was written, you could do that. You could have a character that is just a loyal servant and that would be a great thing. Because if you were middle class in America then (may I point out that Rosemary Sutcliff, the author of that book you're mutilating, is in fact BRITISH? And I very much doubt that it was written solely with an American audience in mind), you probably had servants and that attitude was still prevalent. Where is today with the idea of someone being from a country that has been occupied, our references immediately go to Iraq or Afghanistan. They feel resentment and like, can we trust these people? The idea that they don't want to have our culture thrust upon them and how do they feel about us being there and occupying their country. (Yes, and that is pretty much obvious in the book as well, if you only stuck to it.)

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April 2011

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