Tristan+Isolde (2006)

I suppose the love of Tristan and Isolde makes more sense than that of Romeo and Juliet. After all, Tristan and Isolde were grown adults who had an intimate, secret affair that one could actually call love; quite the difference between the adolescent infatuation of everyone’s favorite classic English couple. Nonetheless I don’t think this fact alone makes it a better romance tale for the simple fact that there have been better, more engaging love stories.

                This isn’t to say there is much wrong with the film “Tristan and Isolde”, just that it is somewhat slow, lacks originality, and is empty of stellar acting. Though the music is fine the actors only bring so much to the table which ultimately impacts the otherwise decent direction of the plot. Everything about the film reeks of average so one gets the feeling that not a great deal of money went into the production of this film.

                Still the movie has its strong points (if they can be called that). Namely that the setting is a unique piece of history: set in between the era after the Roman Empire left Britain the English tribes are squabbling amongst themselves. The Irish take advantage of this bickering to plunder the English countryside. Obviously the English don’t much like the Irish’s presence and so try and form an alliance to unite and drive out the interlopers. Stuck at the forefront of this conflict are two lovers each from the opposite factions-one a tough solider the other a delicate, yet rebellious hearth.

                While this attempt to form a coherent love and country is sabotaged several times by the Irish as well as betrayals, in the end everything, according to legend, works out. Ignoring the some of the trivial aspects of the narrative we see a film which tries to set itself apart from the crowd. Though it doesn’t actually achieve much in terms of uniqueness at least we can say it tried.


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