Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Movie Review: There Be Dragons

Wingnut and I went to see this movie, even after reading Simcha's review. While it was not the best film we've ever seen, it was far from the worst we've ever seen. Is that rave enough?

Researching the life of controversial Blessed-soon-to-be-Sainted Josemaria Escriva for a book he's been assigned to write, Robert discovers his own father, Manolo, had been in the seminary with Escriva. After being contacted by his estranged son, Manolo sends his writer son a series of cassettes he's recorded documenting his and Escriva's divergent lives during the Spanish Civil War. The better part of the movie then focuses on the parallel lives of the saint and the sinner.

Written and directed by Roland Joffe, of The Mission, one might expect a masterpiece in this story. Unfortunately, bogged down by melodrama and a fictionalized marginal and predictable secondary story, Joffe fails to deliver. Blessedly, the film's treatment of Saint Escriva and the Church was extremely complimentary and respectful. One is left to wonder, why did Joffe bother with the secondary garbage at all, when so much of the story and supposed controversy of Saint Escriva was left untold? Despite it's shortcomings, I would recommend this film for the message it successfully delivers: Forgiveness is a wonderful and powerfully freeing gift.

Language, violence, and adult themes recommends this film to older teens and adults. The USCCB rates this film A-III (adults).

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Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of this one. Thanks for sharing the review.

Teresa said...

A friend of mine told me that as a piece of art, this movie was appallingly bad (e.g., the cinematography was awful). Would you agree?

Maurisa said...

I would agree with that assessment as well. While I don't think the cinematography was atrocious, the writing and acting left a lot to be desired. Still, I do recommend seeing the film. I would just wait until it was on DVD.

Teresa said...

Okay. Thanks!