Conquering ninety percent of the known world by the age of twenty-five, Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell) led his armies through twenty-two thousand 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 movie concentrated on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaistion (Jared Leto). Alexander died young, of illness, at the age of thirty-two. 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
Val Kilmer had to undergo over an hour of daily make-up to look older, and don the scar tissue that covers the eye that King Philip II lost in battle. See more »
Ptolemy I is depicted recounting the story of Alexander in 283 B.C. The Lighthouse at Alexandria, seen in the background, was built during the reign of his son Ptolemy II, around 270 B.C. 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.
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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 »
This movie proves that too many drugs will ruin even the most gifted filmmakers
After watching this film, I came to realize that if the real Alexander the Great looked anywhere near as weird as Colin Farrell with a giant blonde wig, that was probably the distraction he used to stay alive in so many battles. I'm sure that soldiers everywhere dropped their swords in confusion when faced with the awkward blonde menace. I don't blame Farrell for being horribly miscast in this film because I didn't think Val Kilmer was realistic as Philip of Macedonia either. As a matter of fact, the only convincing character was Angelina Jolie as Alexander's mother, and she is probably younger than her on-screen son, Colin Farrell! I tried to find the message in this movie, I really tried. After sleeping... I mean sitting through all three hours of the director's cut, the best I could come up with was that it's cool to conquer the world. Alexander the Great's feats make for impressive history books, but the movie seems as shallow as the Hollywood setting it spawns from because of so little self-sacrifice and true meaning to Alexander's life. I guess I should give Oliver Stone some props for sticking with historical fact and giving Alexander a "feminine male friend" but I admit, my 21st century American bias made it difficult to accept that a man who led thousands of brave soldiers also enjoyed having his nails manicured by transvestites. Speaking of Oliver Stone, I think the biggest lesson of this movie is to stay off drugs. Stone made notorious headlines lately for his many drug escapades, and after watching classics like "Platoon" and "Wall Street," and then viewing his contemporary stuff such as "Alexander," it makes me realize that too many drugs will affect any brilliant mind.
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