Conquering 90% of the known world by the age of 25, Alexander the Great led his armies through 22,000 miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years. Coming out of tiny Macedonia (today part of Greece), Alexander led his armies against the mighty Persian Empire, drove west to Egypt, and finally made his way east to India. This film will concentrate on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaestion. Alexander died young, of illness, at 33. Alexander's conquests paved the way for the spread of Greek culture (facilitating the spread of Christianity centuries later), and removed many of the obstacles that might have prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire. In other words, the world we know today might never have been if not for Alexander's bloody, yet unifying, conquest.Written by
[Director's Final Cut] At Philip's wedding, when Attalus is toasting a Macedonian Queen to be proud of, he pauses to glare at Alexander but as he does so, his dialog continues without moving his mouth. This, however, is an intentional artistic flourish that is typical of Oliver Stone's films. See more »
Our world is gone now. Smashed by the wars. Now I am the keeper of his body, embalmed here in the Egyptian ways. I followed him as Pharaoh, and have now ruled 40 years. I am the victor. But what does it all mean when there is not one left to remember - the great cavalry charge at Gaugamela, or the mountains of the Hindu Kush when we crossed a 100,000-man army into India? He was a god, Cadmos. Or as close as anything I've ever seen.
See more »
The director's cut is nine minutes shorter than the 175-minute theatrical version. It is a reworked version although seamless to many. Eighteen minutes were cut and nine added. Many of the added or extended sequences involved Val Kilmer and Angelina Jolie's characters. With battle of Gaugamela now starts earlier. Taking a cue from classic movie epics, the opening reels now set up the basic themes with greater economy: Alexander's Oedipal relationship with his parents, Olympias' ambitions for her son, the boy's need to surpass his father, and the entirely natural way in which myth/religion is shown as integral to the ancients' behavior. Oliver Stone reworked the third act, juxtaposing events in India and Greece. And Jolie's Olympias emerged more as a genuinely pathetic figure in the whole tragedy. Stone wanting to isolate her character's own ambition from the one person she loves. Ptolemy's final scene was edited. Stone also reworked Alexander's death scene secondary to audience feedback, adding 17 seconds to the scene. See more »
The historical epic is trying to make a comeback, and failing horribly. Just as Emmerich failed with the enduring legend of Achilles and the Trojan war, Stone fails miserably with Alexander.
In the 60s, in the era of Spartacus and Lawrence of Arabia, audiences knew what they wanted and expected from a historical film--good history, a sympathetic hero (and hopefully heroine), lots of action. In many ways, our expectations have become much more sophisticated. We want convincing costumes and sets, special effects that make the action absolutely believable, and acting and dialog that allows us to get inside the characters' heads.
I submit that Alexander and Troy bombed because the directors threw buckets of effects and money onto stories that they didn't understand themselves--they used overwhelmingly broad strokes and declamatory speeches when nuances and realism would do much more.
We never understand the title character in Alexander. He's driven to conquer the world, but why? What's going on inside his head? Millions of dollars were spent on battle scenes, but almost nothing on a realistic portrayal of the man, his family, or friends. Olympia and Bagoas are not remotely believable in their femme fatale roles. Olympia, in particular, is nothing more than a caricature--she is never seen without at least one snake being present--is that subtle or what?
Stone obviously doesn't understand Alexander, and so portrays him as an enigma. But as an enigma film, it fails as well! Rent "Donnie Darko" or "Mulholland Drive" instead
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this