After the death of his father Murat II, Mehmet II ascends to the Ottoman throne. After braving internal and external enemies, he decides to complete what he was destined to do - conquer Constantinople.
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In 1453, the Byzantine capital of Constantinople is surrounded by Ottoman Turks. The city is but a shadow of its former glory due to the empire's ever receding coffers, while the Ottoman Empire continues to grow rich. After years of tolerating the existance of Byzantium, the ambitious sultan, Mehmet II launches his campaign to end the Byzantine Empire and take Constantinople for the Ottomans, resulting in arguably the greatest siege of that age. Written by
The Fall of Constantinople...and the "Fall" of Truth
This movie tells the story of the Life of Mehmed II...the Fall of Constantinople...well, you don't have to be a historian to realize the unprecedented distortion of History. I watched this movie with the best intentions, i wanted to like it, since this was the first time that such a historical event as the Fall of Constantinople was depicted in the big screen. However, at the end of the film, the general feeling was lukewarm. I would like to judge this movie both as a piece of art, and as a piece of history telling.. Production was good. There was a good effort in depicting Constantinople with special effects, and credit should be given to the ones responsible for this. The "bird's view" shots of the city were impressive, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Palaces, the Gates..all can be easily compared to shots of Rome in Gladiator or the shots of Babylon in Alexander. However, there were some problematic "green background" shots where the special effects were poor and fakeness was obvious, especially in shots were actors were implemented. The script was average, not too complicated, kept really simple..but faithful to the Ottomans' point of view..and the direction..well, it was average to bad, with awkward imbalances and gaps. This, in combination with some bad acting made things worse, especially for the first half of the movie. Another issue I would like to note is the absolute miscast for the film. The actors chosen to portray certain characters were purposely selected. Someone could easily see the good and noble Mehmed II, and the "ruthless, almost satanic" face of Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos. The second half of the film was more enjoyable for me. The battles were OK and, as i have already mentioned, it was nice to see at last in a movie the Siege of Constantinople, as Hollywood insists on depicting only the Crusades in Jerusalem, the Battles of Joan of Arc and the skirmishes of Robin Hood. However, I can't help it but judge the movie here as far as the history depiction is concerned...and this depiction could not be more inaccurate... Of course, from the Ottoman point of view, there were so many Turkish heroes that distinguished either with their actions of heroism, or their death. But why this story telling is kept one sided? Why is it kept secret that the city had only 7,000 soldiers defending it? Why is it kept secret that the Ottomans entered the city from a small, unguarded gate? Why is it kept secret that Giustiniani was wounded by a cannonball? Why, by the way, is he depicted as evil? And why we hear nothing about the Emperor's last stand in the battle? This is what annoyed me the most...Constantine Palaiologos was fighting alongside his troops. After realizing that the city is doomed, he tore his imperial suite and no one could distinguish him from the rest of the soldiers. He died fighting, defending his city, his people and his faith...he was depicted throughout the movie but his last stand was somehow suddenly forgot by the filmmakers...and last, but not least..without any intention to criticize the Turks but with all due respect the last scene of the film was rather funny..it is recorded in History what happened after the capture of the city, how many were enslaved and tortured..Mehmed II did indeed offer freedom to Christians, but there is no word in the film about the impaled and tortured Christians, or the fact that the Emperor's head was put in the Hippodrome.. Generally, my rating is 6/10 for the effort and some quite good fight scenes.
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