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Katherine of Alexandria, brought up as a nomad and living in the desert, was aged just 11 when Emperor Maxentius saw her whilst out on patrol. Consumed by her beauty, impudence and uncanny talent for languages, he abducted the child, killing her family. The slaughter was witnessed by her young friend, Constantine, who would later become Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. He never lost hope of finding Katherine. As a young woman, Katherine refused to submit to Maxentius' offers of marriage and she continually denounced his brutal enforcement of pagan religion upon the masses. Still obsessed with her beauty, Maxentius brought Katherine before 50 of Rome's finest scholars in an open court in Alexandria, where she eloquently demolished their arguments. When Constantine learned of Katherine's whereabouts and imprisonment at the hands of Maxentius, he led his army from York in a desperate bid to save her. Written by
There's a Great Story To Be Told About Katherine... This Isn't The Film That Tells It
Anyone who gets a film made should be commended, this, unfortunately, is where the compliments end.
The main fault in the film lies in the script. There is no narrative, the writer/director has essentially cobbled together a bunch of scenes in the hope that they will connect with each other with no real threat or drive for the characters. It is understandable why actors such as the late Peter O'Toole and Edward Fox would be attracted to such a piece, if they were given free reign they'd be munching at the scenery like a rabbit on a lettuce leaf. Yet, they're not. These actors are restrained and make for a dull viewing experience. Seeing actors of this calibre being given the opportunity letting rip is always a pleasure, the fact that they are not is a wasted opportunity.
Nicole Keniheart may look the part, but as a unifying presence for the whole story, she fails. There is nothing of interest to her, and the fate that falls on her doesn't have the emotional wallop that the Director was hoping for as we simply don't care for her. She has no character and as such we never truly connect with her. More could have been made of Katherine's affect on Rome and how she changed the lives of others as such it just feels as if her "followers" blindly accept that she is the second coming and go along with her.
On the whole the film is flat and the greatest crime of all: dull. Ridley Scott's latest film "Exodus" suffered from a similar problem, yet at least it had spectacle. Granted this is on a lower budget, but there was potential to do so much with the material but fails miserably. We don't care for the characters, we aren't drawn into the story and the script is risible. There is a great story to be told about this woman and the last days of the Roman Empire, but this is not that film.
On the plus side, it's in focus.
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