The series follows two women-medieval Alaïs Pelletier du Mas (Jessica Brown Findlay), who lives through the Crusades and Cathar massacres in medieval France, and modern-day Alice Tanner (...
See full summary »
Four young men who belong to a supernatural legacy are forced to battle a fifth power long thought to have died out. Another great force they must contend with is the jealousy and suspicion that threatens to tear them apart.
The series follows two women-medieval Alaïs Pelletier du Mas (Jessica Brown Findlay), who lives through the Crusades and Cathar massacres in medieval France, and modern-day Alice Tanner (Vanessa Kirby)-in their quest to find the Holy Grail. Alice, a volunteer at a French archaeological excavation, discovers the skeletal remains of two people in a cave, as well as a labyrinth-engraved ring, which attracts the attention of unscrupulous individuals. In 1209, newly married Alaïs is living in Carcassonne, a stronghold of Cathars who have been declared heretical by the Church. Alaïs and her father are protecting three sacred books that reveal the secret of the Holy Grail from the Crusaders. Written by
Oh dear. How sad. Never mind. Great book. Rubbish film. That just about sums it up for me. Having enjoyed the book so much I was really looking forward to this when I stumbled upon it in the Weekend TV Supplement, but where was the pre-publicity or trailers? Maybe the TV execs knew they had a turkey on their hands when they scheduled it on two consecutive nights over a long weekend when they knew that half the nation would be on holiday. It wasn't all bad - the screenplay was pretty close to the book, which is good, but at nearly 700 pages it is a big ask, and it has to be down to the screenwriter and director to put the story across in an accessible way, and on this occasion I think they have fallen short. The locations, lavish sets, costumes, and the star cast, were all great however. But something was lacking. I wish I could put my finger on it.It was all a bit clichéd. I know the body count was pretty high but there were far too many death-bed scenes when profound words are exchanged just before they croak and the eyes go north. I rarely criticise actors because they can only work with the material they are given but it would help if they could articulate a little more clearly. Without the help of subtitles (and having read the book) I would probably not have had a clue what was going on. Poor Jessica Findlay-Brown has an unfortunate speech defect that when she speaks quietly she breaks into a whisper every other syllable. Very distracting. And central casting please note - Tom Felton, fine actor though he is, does not have the physical presence or vocal gravitas to carry off the part of a warrior leader. And why was it necessary to cast Will as an American? This is a European story about European culture with European settings and characters. No need for a token American. This film will bomb in America anyway with their bite-size attention span. Can you imagine this complex storyline on American TV with adverts every five minutes? The audience will quickly lose the plot if not the will to live! Oh dear. How sad. Never mind. There, I've said it again.
9 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?