The production is very good, but as a movie it disappoints!
Set in a very hard period of Portuguese history, the French invasions (It was the last time Portugal was invaded by a foreign army), LINHAS DE WELLINGTON is a movie that essentially worth for that: history!
It's not a history lesson or something, but in my point of view the strong features of this film are just characterization and production. I mean the settings, the costumes, the all ambiance created portraying this period of history (beginning of the XIX century) are very good, and above the normal standards of Portuguese films/productions; but all the rest is not that good and it's even a bit disappointing I must say!
In my opinion the movie is too long extended (it wasn't needed over two hours and half to a plot like that! At parts it even seems it has all those minutes just to be more similar to the epic movie that tries to be, but it's not! The musical score also falls in this fallacy ) and it's very slow paced (even a bit boring at parts).
There're no actions scenes (absolutely needed to a movie that aspires to be connected to the epic genre, I think ) and the plot is divided for so many characters that (as some others IMDb users said) we almost don't even know who are the most important to this movie! The Duke of Wellington is terribly portrayed by John Malkovich, not because of his fault (he's a great actor by the way), but because the way it was chosen to portray such important figure Not to mention the roles of Catherine Deneuve or Chiara Mastroianni (among others) which just appear in the movie just to make a presence and put their names in the cast
So, for too many reasons, I think this movie tries to be something bigger than it really is It's missing here a lot of things to make it a really epic and remarkable film! Before I watch it I was expecting one of the best Portuguese movies ever but after 30 minutes of watching it my illusion vanished It's one of the best in production though (very nice costumes and sets).
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