Adapted from the work of Miguel de Cervantes, this is the story of a hidalgo, fanatic for chivalry novels, who loses his sanity and believing to be a knight named Don Quixote de La Mancha, ...
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Adapted from the work of Miguel de Cervantes, this is the story of a hidalgo, fanatic for chivalry novels, who loses his sanity and believing to be a knight named Don Quixote de La Mancha, decides to go on imaginary adventures along with his friend, the simple farmer Sancho Panza, who becomes his squire. On their journeys, they rescue dames in distress in honorable acts and fight giants among other perils, with Don longing to be with the love of his life, lady Dulcinea, and Sancho waiting to be rewarded with an island where he's about to become a governor.Written by
There had been a rival theatrical production which was cancelled by Phoenix Pictures in 1997. Fred Schepisi was to direct, and Robin Williams and John Cleese were to star. See more »
[possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers, who reportedly wanted to make the locale and costumes more colorful] The actual La Mancha is a more arid, monotonous region than the countryside shown in the film. Although it was shot in Spain, Andalusia stood in for La Mancha. See more »
There is a world outside La Mancha. There is a great elsewhere, my neighbor. And there we may both find fame and fortune.
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Though ideal for a family audience, the tale is perhaps too slow to entice most young people today. No car chases. No sex. No unwarranted violence. It takes place in Spain at the end of an era where noble thoughts and deeds were rewarded instead of scoffed. It will bore the less cultured, who may find it laughable. Still, anyone not presented this story, especially in the way it is told here, is cheated. It is worth the experience, and I beg you to give it a chance to steal your heart as it did mine. Don Quixote 2000 is filled with humor and soul; a rare gem in today's violent and amoral cinema.
Yes I know this was made for television. Still, it should be seen as a work of art, and a presentation of wondrous acting. It cannot be put in the same category with reruns of Starsky and Hutch. This version of Don Quixote has the makings of a classic.
Of the many retellings of this story, this latest version for the new millennium is perhaps the most heartfelt and moving. The casting is extraordinary. John Lithgow was born for this role. He has repeatedly proven himself worthy for the part of a man of noble virtue and undying spirit, with eyes simultaneously clouded by dreams and crystalized in truth. Lithgow has proven himself worthy of the role of a man seen mad by those around him, while showing the audience he is more sane in what his heart and mind reveal. From Garp to Solomon, every day of learning for this actor has been working up to this performance, and he is still a powerful talent showing no signs of waning.
This is not an easy role to perform. It takes someone with both Shakespearean and modern experience in acting. For it is very easy to present this character two-dimensionally as a madman, and to do so cheapens the role and the audience, as well as the actor. Lithgow rises to this challenge superbly. The tale of Don Quixote is not a tale of a mad man. It is the tale of a man crawling in a desert of mediocrity. His disillusionment is like that of a man crawling through a landscape of sand, reaching for mirages just at the horizon. He craves the sustenance of chivalry and adventure just as a man dying of thirst craves for water. He has drunk the glory of the library, and his mind seeks more adventure than can be found between the covers of a book. THIS is what the actor must reveal to his audience for this role to breathe true life. Quixote thirsts for knowledge, history, and rebirth of humanity, and prays to God that it be found in each one of us. This is the tale of the Last True Renaissance Man. Lithgow presents Quixote to us like a rare jewel in a golden crown, placed delicately upon a velvet pillow. He kneels before us and begs us to take the crown, and revel in the grandness and sadness of this most noble soul. His eyes! Lithgow's performance is so real and filled with emotion, humor, and wisdom. His eyes twinkle and awe at the true majesty of life and thought. We insult his honor as an actor and a gentleman were we to turn away.
Hoskins is by contrast equally well-cast in his role as a simple man of simple ways and means, who falls into the disillusionment of Quixote's world. He does so willingly, and perhaps for the first time in all presentations of this story, we see a performance that does not put into question why Sancho tarries along with this alleged madman. He does so for the hope of a reward, but in the end he does so for the love and friendship of a comrade. For this role it would have been easy for Hoskins to coast and not show us more than the surface, but like Lithgow, Hoskins is an actor of rare breed. Seeing these two great talents working together is a cherished experience, not to be missed.
The tale is always a painful one to experience, because we all long for a fulfillment of our dreams. Quixote does not listen to the naysayers surrounding them. He takes the bull by the horns, and stares down windmills in a way that we all wish we had to courage to share.
It is slow. The pacing of this film is the weak link. The cinematography is point and click. The special effects revealing what Quixote sees are often unnecessary, and the apparent limitations of financial budgeting to the visual and auditory aspects of the presentation make it less than it could have been. However, this allows us to revel in the performance of the leads and supporting cast, which is where the true magic of this production lay. I have seen this story told with more exuberance and energy, but never have I seen it told so lovingly, like a mother wiping the sweat from a fevered baby's face. I strongly recommend this for family viewing. In a world where children's fare is rare to find, even the most conservative and religious among society could find no fault in this film.
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