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Fetih 1453 (2012)
Good entertainment with a splash of history thrown in
To put my review in perspective: I am not a movie buff - just someone who loves stories, loves big productions and love being wowed. I have never been to Turkey or Greece and don't know any Greeks or Turks personally. I have a vague knowledge of ancient history.
Most of all - I never go to watch a movie with a notebook or history tome by my side. Why would you?! Wouldn't it be BORING if every single time we make a historical film, it has to be 100% accurately depicted - if that's what you want, just go and read a history book, or watch a documentary! (And we would have to find many UGLY actors to play the parts - have you seen what Queen Elizabeth actually looked like??) I loved the movie because it was visually sumptuous. Who cares if the costumes were the correct shade of scarlet according to the history books? The production brought home the splendour and mystique of that ancient time and place. It brought to life the giant, fierce armies of fearless and loyal fighters - on both sides.
It was fascinating to learn about the role of sappers - the heroes under ground! The special effects were for the most part impressive- once or twice they felt slightly obvious - but those moments did not detract from the epic ambiance. Believe me - I have endured much worse from recent big Hollywood productions.
The film brought home the horror of ancient methods of combat that was used in that era. And above all it prompted me to go and read up on Byzantine and Ottoman history and find out more about Sultan Mehmed II. The role that Orban played was extremely well depicted and for most of us, he is an unknown, unsung historical figure which was rightly celebrated in the film.
I didn't find the acting in any way distracting, which in my book means it was fine. It didn't make me quiver with emotional intensity, it was a tad on the dramatic side, but it felt appropriate because of the period setting. Of course, I must add that reading subtitles removes one a little from the dialogue.
I would definitely recommend the movie - but not to anyone who is doing their PhD in "Killing the enjoyment of stories with intellectual pretensions".