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Imagine an adaptation/sequel of Hamlet where the prince of Denmark survives and wages war against Fortinbras with the help of Elves, Smurfs and the Easter Bunny. That's the level of respect this despicable TV series displays towards the Odyssey.
See, I'm not a purist. Homer's classic has been reinterpreted so many times, it would be pointless to complain about a minor change here and there. This is however the absolute nadir, a cliché-ridden, completely alien mess which turns a mesmerizing epic into an atrocious soap opera (Odysseus does what? Menelaus does what? Who is this Trojan girl? What...?!). As I stared at the screen, I couldn't have been more incredulous if Beowulf had shown up riding a purple tiger.
Direction and production values are about as good as the script deserves. Slow-motion is used to hilarious effects; also funny is how they keep cutting from their talky scenes in ugly sets to majestic shots of the roaring sea.
Acting is unspeakable. Leading the cast are Alessio Boni, who gets to murder another classic after War and Peace and always looks and sounds like he is trying too hard (he has this husky yet querulous voice straight out of a perfume commercial), plus former Bond girl Caterina Murino, also terrible. Everyone is flat-out awful, with the kind of over-the-top attitude made of theatrical mannerisms, frowning and sneering which would be hilarious if it wasn't just plain sad. All in all, the kind of performances which make you shut your eyes and cover your ears.
This is what happens when hacks get to tamper with a masterpiece. What's next? Uwe Boll's Faust?
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