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In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.
This lavish small-screen adaptation of Homer's ancient epic--replete with Maltese and Turkish locations, state-of-the-art special effects, and many bronzed muscles gleaming with sweat--chronicles the voyage home of a Trojan hero, Odysseus King of Ithaca, and includes many more scenes of his faithful, beautiful wife Penelope dodging leering suitors at home than Homer ever composed! Written by
Anthony Pereyra <email@example.com>
Surprising; Eye-Filling and Important; The Finest Classical Spectacle Yet
"The Odyssey", purportedly the work of the same man who wrote "The Iliad", is a long epic poem which is world-renowned as a tale of adventure. The greatness of this adaptation is that the ethical central character, Odysseus or 'Ulysses', King of Ithaca, is treated as the first man in history able to think rationally--to control his passions. The filmmakers do not spend more than a few minutes on the "Odysseys" background, the war by the ancient Argives' alliance against the city of Ilium or "Troy". The thrust of the piece is the wanderings undertaken by Ulysses AFTER he returns home safely from that war. His wife Penelope waits for him; his family never gives up. But meanwhile, even as his son grows, the kingdom's nobles grow bolder. They demand Penelope marry one of them, since they believe Ulysses is dead. By night, Penelope unweaves what she has woven of her wedding dress during daylight. The bulk of the film follows Ulysses on what amounts to a shipborne Cook's tour of fictionally-reworked famous ancient places about the Mediterraean, to confrontations with the man-eating Cyclops and his herd of sheep, with Circe the goddess who can transform men into swine, with the Lotos eaters and the Gulf of the world. This movie is a special-effects extravaganza with high-tech effects and a solid cast to back up the adventure by way of intelligent direction and good dialogue. The very large made-for-television epic was directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. Konchalovsky did the adaptation and Christopher Solimine the teleplay. The bright cinematography for a very long and colorful adventure was the work of Sergei Kopzlov, the original music composed by Eduard Artemyev; the elaborate set decorations were done by Kren Brooks, with costumes by Charles Knode. The outstanding production design was the achievement of Roger Hall. In the huge cast, Armand Assante seemed an intelligent Odysseus save that he lacked a classical speech training. Greta Scacchi was Penelope, Isaballa Rossellini Athena, Irene Papas Anticleia, and Jeroen Krabbe King Alcinous. Vanessa Williams played Calypso, Christopher Lee Tiresias, Bernadette Peters Circe and Geraldine Chaplin played Eurycleia. Many others enacted the parts of persons in the Trojan War, the suitors at Ithaca's court, assorted divinities and personages encountered by Odeysseus and his mates in the course of his ship's many adventures. Katie Carr was Nausicaa, who helped him when he was shipwrecked; and Alan Stenson portrayed Odysseus's son Telemcahus. From the Trojan sequences to the slaughter of the offending nobles by team-Ulysses, he in disguise using an ancient horn-bow only he could string to perform the deed, this is an exciting, eye-filling and well-planned cinematic adventure. It was a great surprise when it was offering among many mean-streets naturalistic films in 1997. Not to be missed.
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