Friday, March 30, 2007

Lost in wilderness

Film: Pathfinder
Directed by: Marcus Nispel
Starring: Karl Urban, Russell Means, Moon Bloodgood, Jay Tavare

The film is the perfect example of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Some years ago it would have been a novel endeavour, in a Conan the Barbarian sort of way, But after The Lord of the Rings, and more recent Apocalypto and 300, the film looks highly amateurish, like a young girl with no music talent pretending to be Lata Mangeskar!
The ‘before-bullet’ action adventure saga offers nothing new that you haven’t before, and to make the matter worse, everything about the film range from below average to outright silly.
Hollywood’s fascination for pre-history continues forever, yet, looks like every time they want to make a film on American Indians, they fail miserably, the last example being Terrence Malick’s The New World (Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves is a different story altogether.)
So here’s the story before Columbus discovered American. Viking warriors from Scandinavia visit the American shore and wreak havoc. During one such raid, a Viking boy was left behind among the Indians. After some apprehension, the Indians took him under their folds and called him Ghost (Karl Urban, Eomer of The Lord of the Rings). As Ghost grows up, the Vikings attack again and this time Ghost must choose between his people and those who raised him.
Beyond this, its all war, swords and gore, decapitation and bloodshed. That’s perfectly all right, only if the scenes looked good. It’s not very difficult to figure out what’s wrong. Precisely, everything. Director Marcus Nispel is no Mel Gibson who could make an engaging film without much of a story. Here the film fall flat, no story, no sign of a narrative, no characterisation — nothing is fully realised. But the biggest culprit is shoddily done editing. You can hardly figure out what is happening at the war scenes. Add to that the poor quality of lighting, you can see the picture, or vice versa.
Probably, it would be a better idea to catch up with Apocalypto or 300, if you haven’t seen them yet.

Rating: ** So-so

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