Master and Commander is totally sweet

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Pollux V, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. Pollux V Ra Bless America Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,495
    Warning: spoilers. Just see the movie before you read this, I promise it's worth the money.

    This movie is awesome. I don't dare to say, totally sweet. Nine out of ten thumbs up.

    The movie opens with an intense battle between two warships off the coast of early 19th century Brazil I believe, and the fight is just nuts. The plot is written around the pursuit of either ship by the other, by the rivalry between the English captain and the French one (which we only see once, briefly). The theme behind it seems to revolve around which captain can best the other through his own unique cunning, regardless of the Napoleonic War, of orders, or of their crew's moral. But throughout the story there are many intriguing subplots, the life of a young, one armed boy onboard, the struggle an officer has with garnering respect from his crew, a doctor and his quest to bring back new, unseen, unheard of specimens from the Galapagos (it isn't called "Far Side of the World" for nothing), a lobotomized crewmember only quoting the Bible, even a brief reference to Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.

    In a way the subplots are almost like Pulp Fiction, but seamlessly ordered chronologically. I just loved this movie. The acting was wonderful--I really got a sense from Crowe that he was a crazy, lucky captain who was divided between caring for his crewmates and for his own masculinity (the dilemna is decided when in favor of the latter when a man is swept overboard). Whoever played the blond kid was awesome, completely believable as his part of being a kid where an adult should be in his place. When Crowe allowed him to take command of the ship at the end I saw the glee in the boy's eyes. The doctor is cynical but not heavily cynical, he's hard to explain, the actor and the writer gave him a great deal of depth almost unheard of in many movies at all, in my opinion.

    That's just to mention a few of the, as I said before, wonderful performances.

    SPOILER WARNING: IF YOU PLAN TO SEE THE MOVIE, DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING, I WILL KILL YOU AND THE MOVIE WILL LOSE A GREAT DEAL OF ITS MAGIC.



    The very end is the best part. After an awesome battle I thought that the story was over, that everything was resolved, that it was time to head back to port, get some medals and then await the next assignment. But then, I realized that the French captain had not died, as we had thought, that he was still alive back on the Acheron, probably getting his shit back together to retake the ship. Russel Crowe was visibly irked and frustrated as he ordered a crewmember to escort the Acheron into port, and the final shot is one seen several times in the movie, of one ship chasing the other. Then the screen went blank, and a violin or two or three went nuts on a cool song. For me, the movie was all about cunning, about who really beat who how, and I loved how both captains kept getting bested by the other over and over again, so much so that the film seemed like it became worn out by the story continuing at all, even though there was obviously more to it.

    Ahhh, such an awesome movie. I'm going to buy it when it comes out on dvd and I'm also going to buy the soundtrack. I'm such a nerd, but at least I'm not in denial. As a final note, I knew that this would be a good movie, because of the two recent movies I've seen with Russel Crowe in them, Gladiator and the one about the mathemetician, I found that I loved them both, found that they were excellent pieces of cinema, even if I can't remember one of their names. Comparatively, Master and Commander is my favorite.
     
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  3. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

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    5,238
    ding!

    Oh... MORE SPOILERS Herein, for anyone who needs warning...

    Quite a cast of characters, indeed.
    Every archtype seemed represented...

    To me the "flow" of the thing seemed very much like the I imagine the experience of reading the novel the screenplay was adapted from would be...
    Somehow it had a very "literary" feel.
    One in a series of "nautical tales", though I cannot recall the author.

    And there were moments from the sublime to the ludicrous.
    The crewman left to die amid storm-tossed seas you mentioned...
    The doctor getting shot by his overzealous crewmate attempting to bag the albatross...

    other misc hi-lites:

    The "decoy" the Brits use to evade the Acheron's nocturnal pursuit... (love to know if that was ever actually done)

    Drunken sea chanties! huzzah!

    The littlest one-armed ensign!

    "Suicide by cannonball" (yow!)

    Yup...Yup... The grizzled old sailor with the coin as a "metal plate" in his head...



    Fun Stuff!
     
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  5. blackmonkeystatue Unregistered User Registered Senior Member

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    174
    There was a violin song they played in that movie 2 or 3 times, a really famous one, anyone know the name? Because I can't remember.
     
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  7. Halo Full Time Nerd-Bomber Registered Senior Member

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    587
    I agree that this movie was awesome and the soundtrack is a must have. i don't know the name of that song that they played. This movie was a big surprise because coming into it I didn't expect much. Boy was I surprised. If you like military strategy as I do then this is a movie to buy.
     
  8. coluber Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    its strange you guys like it so much i haven't seen it yet but almost everyone that did told me it lacked plot
     
  9. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,238
    I think you have to take it for what it is... a sort of yarn.
    An adventure tale.

    It wasn't meant, it seems to me, to be an accurate representation of anything but the fictional setting depicted in the book it was adapted from.
    Apparently the author merely used the events of that time to provide a backdrop for his particular tale.

    I don't even know when the book was written, let alone any more about it.
    I'd certainly say no new ground was covered here.
    It seems to be a re-depiction of some time-tested archtypes and the "hero's quest" type of tale.

    Guess I just liked the job they did with it this time around enough to ignore any shortcomings it might've had.
    Aren't movies based on suspension of belief in the first place?

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