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Jason Butler Harner,
Fine- if you're only interested in costumes, that is
I usually wait some time after a movie is released to watch it. I prefer to avoid the crowds and rely on some friend's advice. Still, I am not always consistent with this and, sometimes, movies like this one painfully bring me back to the right path.
"La conjura de El Escorial" could have been excellent. Excellent as most of its actors (a very experienced, international cast) or its historical recreation (location spots, costumes ). And yet A good movie needs a good script. When the script is bad, and this one is awful (or, to say the least, very uneven), all hope is lost. The narrative is hesitant; there are several unneeded, distracting (and even positively disgusting) scenes; the entire love-story subplot (of course there is one!) is hard to believe, simplistic and boring The movie's changing pace is made worse by the editing: for instance, a fadeout between two scenes with some 20 seconds between them and involving the same characters. I also suspect the poor editing is to blame for not understanding how and why a number of scenes take place, the character's reasons for a change of mind, and son on. Quite true, some takes are brilliantly shot; but others are simply laughable (NOT funny). Take the fights for instance. I was wondering why they forgot to play the theme tune of Benny hill's show. Bud Spencer or Terrence Hill could have signed it- but we're talking of a 16th century sword fight Poor action scenes, bad editing, mostly static dialogs: technically speaking, this is more of a play than a movie.
All things considered, I believe Antonio del Real (director and scriptwriter here) is much to blame for this waste of my time and money. The movie is worth watching, perhaps, if you like costumes or have a historical interest in 16th century life in Spain. Also, it is probably one of the best renditions of Phillip 2nd of Spain (a very interesting king), much unlike most productions. But if you like movies, please, forget this one.
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