A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hopes of pursuing freedom while also falling in love with his master, the famous female philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.
This film should have been a whole lot more engaging for my money. The film starts out as an epic sword fighting--die to protect the king--like saga (you see these boys being groomed to be the king's bodyguards and warriors when they grow up--kind of like a school for boy secret service agents actually.) where the "die for the king" like mantra is tried and true. This mantra gets severely tested later on in the film when the king starts going off his rocker--but we;ll get to that in a second. The king starts taking to this one particular warrior (a more "sensitive" kind) and appoints him his own personal bodyguard. Before too long--the 2 men are in a secretive affair. The king however decides to get married to a woman--got to protect the throne of course. eventually the king decides that he needs to produce and heir to protect the throne---however the king is having some sexual issues in bed with his wife (possibly because he secretly pines for his bodyguard when he's in bed with her.) He then gets the bright idea of having his lover/bodyguard to impregnate his wife on his behalf. The bodyguard who has probably never said No to the king in his entire life of course agrees to it--and before too long--the bodyguard and the queen are engaging in a secretive affair all their own. (yes i realize the affair can't be that secretive if the king hired him to impregnate the queen in the first place--but the queen and the bodyguard end up meeting behind closed doors in non officially sanctioned romance sessions as well)
The King Then loses His mind with jealousy basically. I kept wondering who he was jealous of at first. Was he jealous of The Bodyguard or his wife? Turns out Both!
That's more or less it for the plot---there's a king or queen or some kind of royalty at another kingdom who's plotting to take the king down and those attempts are the basis for some very well done attacks on the king's throne that the bodyguard (and other warriors as well) must fight off...but the main plot line seems to be all about the increasing jealousy of the king for his lover and for his wife.
While i wish there was more of a competing plot line to go with here because this plot line while filled with good old fashioned drama--and dressed up in an old fashioned royalty costumed drama as well is kind of a bore after a while. I personally really relished the attacks by the other kingdom if only because it distracted me from the ultimate predictability of what was about to happen (although i will admit the actual ending was pretty darn good--when the inevitable happens and the king finally has a reason to justify his jealousy--his actions finally make the film suspenseful...not to mention squirm inducing as well--that's all i'll say about that--i leave what happens to the king and bodyguard to you fine folks to see--but it ain't pretty.)
Film has gorgeous set design and costumes and lighting and plush scenery that really pops on camera--the whole works were done as is traditional for a costume royalty drama genre piece...and that's all well and good--but if the heart of the story doesn't grab you and keep you interested the whole way through, then its all for naught.
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