Captain Corelli's Mandolin Essay

1213 words - 5 pages

Captain Corelli's MandolinWhy it took four major production entities- Universal, Studio Canal, Miramax and Working Title- to turn that admired novel into a phlegmatic, middlebrow romantic drama so stodgy that even the goats look bored? How John Madden, the same director who brought "Shakespeare in Love,to life, could have been responsible for this comatose effort; how star Penelope Cruz manages to emerge unscathed, like some cinematic Wonder Woman, from the wreckage of film after film?" That is what Kenneth Turan, Times Film Critic had to say about "Captain Corelli's Mandolin." The movie was based on a Louis de Berniére's best-selling tale of love and war. I did not know what to expect when I went to see this movie; I had read various unfavorable reviews.While certainly not an Oscar winning film, it was not anywhere as bad as the reviewers said. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. It is long but keeps the audience attention throughout. John Hurt turns in an excellent performance, as does Christian Bale. Nicolas Cage could have used a little more help with the Italian accent.I believe Capt. Corelli's Mandolin has suffered the same disease as the British Tourist Industry did over Hoof & Mouth disease. The press blew it clear out of proportion. Turan, Times Film Critic, said " A film without a true note, an undemanding picture-postcard production heavy with " I don't know how to say what I fell inside," dialogue from screenwriter Shawn Slovo. Things do improve in the film's more dramatic final third, when the war gets closer and unpleasant things start to happen, but the production never loses its quality of exasperating bogusness." Poor reviews such as this have emptied the theaters around here. This is a good movie that actually has a story and character development instead of just special effects and it is unfair to criticize a great work in such an unrelenting manner.This film is meant to capture a moment in history, both for several people and the world. "Forget the inconsequential details such as precise accents and dwell on the story and the actors (Ebert 2)." It is a simple story told straightforward about loving and losing, about honor and responsibility, about wondering 'what if' and making do with 'what is'. The film successfully strikes a chord of passion with its audience, and we find poignancy, tenderness, heartbreak, and poetry along the way.The story place in a beautiful Greek island, Cephallonia, it's so pretty and endearing, the picture perfect village, and all the beautiful people. Pelagia, the doctor's daughter, is betrothed to Mandras, a handsome fisherman, who goes off to fight the Germans on the Albanian border. Meanwhile, the Italians occupy the island and Captain Corelli is billeted at the doctor's house. Pelagia wants nothing to do with Corelli. She is serious and proud. He is fun loving and musical. She worries about the war and treats him as an enemy. As the months pass, he finds himself drawn to...

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