The word “magical” is overused in the entertainment industry. In connection with “The Golden Compass” it is the only word which matters. I have no familiarity with Mr. Pullman’s books. I am skeptical that the screenplay was a mash-up of Book 1, since Mr Pullman was co-writer of the screen work along with the very capable Tom Stoppard. Critics, bear in mind, this is a movie, not an audio book with a vision track. It works perfectly. One is on thin ice to say that the “characters” in a movie based on magic realism are believable, but this is exactly how it is in this precious production. This is a fine line that some magic realists, for instance Mark Helprin, stretch too far, but not here. Dakota Blue Richards is as magical as the rest of the production, For a juvenile actor to have bearing and literacy at this level is just amazing, indeed mesmerizing. Her work felt like a flashback into a fusion of several of the youthful stars of past decades, only better. I did not see any mention in reviews that the animated souls on which thousands of hours of CGI time would have been spent, derive from local Anglo-Saxon folklore, in which small creatures are alleged to be mischievous and part of the web of consciousness. No surprise to Thomas Hardy here. The special effects are far more than special. The battle scenes are an exhilarating reprise of the street battle in Eisensteins “Battleship Potemkin” and the ice battle in “Alexander Nevsky. ” The music track did not baldly clone Prokofiev, but I thought I heard a few strains of the “Stone Flower Ballet. ” It might be that some attribution games have been inserted, which will require a few more viewings. The corrupt leadership of the Magisterium are more of a characterization of bureaucracy than religion, in my opinion. But then, organized religion is about bureaucracy, not religion. The offence that one of the organized Christian priesthoods has taken against the film, and the books (albeit after a decade, which proves that they did not read them), is reminiscent of Galileo’s problems with the Vatican. And of the flak that Monty Python’s “Life of Bryan” attracted over the depiction of the Sanhedrin. It won’t be long at this rate before the works of George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells are pulled from schools. Buy your copy of “The Missionary” before the remaining stocks are burnt.
|10/10||eql@ - 38 reviews|
22.12.2007 - age: 50+ - One reply
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