Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Bastardization of Mythology

As you well know, 300 and Troy have come out recently. Both movies were about classic Greek history with the latter being based on Homer's Odyssey. Anyway, both of these movies were pretty interesting studies in the way that Hollywood understands the history of these events. And, that is fairly well in the case of 300 and terribly in the case of the latter.

Shifting historical foci, Hollywood has decided to move from the Greeks to the Anglo-Saxons to tackling one of my favorite pieces of literature: Beowulf. If you haven't read Beowulf before, read the Seamus Heaney translation. It was the version that I read, and it made a pretty graphic story interesting.

Anyway, Beowulf is to now become the new 300. Robert Zemeckis, of Forrest Gump fame, has taken on the directorial duties in this film. The cast stars Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins amongst others interpreting this story while also using radical filmic techniques. From what I saw in the trailer, it looks like it is not going to be authentic to the tradition of the poem, which is sad for the following reason: the myth is totally boss.

The myth is a perpetual battle. Beowulf comes in to get in a fight. He gets the fight brought to him by a huge hellspawn who tears apart a Viking hall. And this is just the first fight; there are two more. I can't imagine why someone would want to deviate from such a priceless script. If they haven't tinkered with one thing from the original, it is the violence. From all outset, this new version looks like it will be as violent as the original story. This fact would be the only thing that would inspire me to see this movie. Otherwise, watch the trailer and see if you will be amongst the sea of comic book fans and fantasy kids who will, indubitably, be at the preview of this film.