Spain 17th century.Diego Alatriste, brave and heroic soldier, is fighting under his King's army in the Flandes region. His best mate, Balboa, falls in a trap and near to die ask to Diego, as his last desire, to looking after his son Inigo and grow him as a soldier. Alatriste has to come back to Madrid. Written by
The role of Inquisitor Emilio Bocanegra is played by a woman, veteran actress Blanca Portillo. This caused controversy, not so much because it might look disrespectful towards the Church, but because many fans could not see the point in doing something like this. Díaz Yanes said that he had had the idea of using a female actress from the beginning, because he saw 'that Great Inquisitor role' as something too cartoonish and black-and-white and wanted to introduce a fresh, less recognizable element to it, and still make viewers suitably uneasy about so powerful and fearful a character. He cited the Oscar-winning supporting role of Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), where she played a man, as an example of what he wanted to achieve. Incidentally, Blanca Portillo wears her hair very short in her next film, Volver (2006), as a result of having had it cut for this role. See more »
During the white flag scene at Rocroi, the corpses around the Spanish soldiers move between takes. See more »
All the time complaining about the lack of commercial movies in the Spanish industry, and when a nice effort comes trough, everybody is bashing it!! Now, it's true that the movie has his share of flaws: The story feels disjointed, but in the second part it takes more time to develop it; There's a well known actress playing a man ( which is something obvious). But the main reasons of complain seem to be two: The action sequences: The intention of the filmmakers was to make them look raw and cruel, not stylish and hollywoodesque. This is not Kill Bill, or Lord of the rings. The story takes place in a real time in history, and i'm sure that the sword-fighting wasn't like in the middle earth.
And Viggo: I think he's great in the role. Yes, the voice, the pronunciation of the "s", is strange. But the stance, the expression, the looks, and the physical work in general is pure gold.
Final conclusion: This isn't a great movie, but a good and solid commercial one, a movie that needed to be made ( and to be watched and discussed). A movie that, finally, we Spanish people need to support. Don't let the envy blinds you, and take out your own impressions.
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