30 June, 2010

Robin Hood?

I saw this movie a month or so ago when just coming off final exams for the Spring semester. It was one of the worst movies I've seen (other than the heinous romance novel turned film-played-for-obvious-teenage-girl-squealing-moments called Twilight). The reasons for my hearty dislike of it are manifold. There's the shoddiness of the storyline, predictability of script, lack of chemistry between Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe, and the worst of all, gross historical inaccuracy. I wouldn't even mention any of this, however, since it's my general rule to not talk about movies here. Yet I was just catching up over at The Daily Kraken, and found this gem that says much of what I wanted to say--or rather, shout to the general population of Irving, TX as we drove back to campus-- about the disastrous historical errors that made the movie so much more heinous than it already was.

"Scott’s eye for history is what sees this movie maintain that Magna Carta was drafted by some non-entity stonemason who was summarily executed for his troubles; that Richard the Lionhearted died years earlier than he actually died, while doing something he never did, for reasons that were ridiculous, as a result of events that conspicuously never happened; that the same Richard spoke English like a native, rather than scarcely at all; that speaking French was unusual or uncommon in England at the time, and a sign of dirty doings afoot; that Philip II himself could speak English well, let alone fluently; that Philip II was a sinister brooding figure rather than an immensely popular reformer; that Philip II secretly invaded England rather than only taking English holdings in what is now France; and so on and so on."

Well said.

Of course if you really wanted to write a full critique (not the intention of this quote) you could complain for a bit about the complete lack of understanding of the Middle Ages anywhere in American society except in a few dusty old back corners of the history departments of a few Ivy League schools who have shamefacedly preserved a few relics of the days when liberal arts actually meant something...

But I do that enough in real life.

1 comment:

Kathryn L said...

I refuse to see the movie because it makes the Robin Hood story into this big, serious melodrama. I have always loved Robin Hood because he is so much fun, with his dashing, romantic ways. Historical inaccuracy aside, it seems like there is a disregard to the flavor of the legend.