Spain 17th century. Diego Alatriste, brave and heroic soldier, is fighting under his King's army in the Flandes region. His best mate, Balboa, falls in a trap and near to die ask to Diego, as his last desire, to looking after his son Íñigo and grow him as a soldier. Alatriste has to come back to Madrid.Written by
The fictitious Spanish hero magnificently played by Viggo Mortensen and exceptional Juan Echanove as Francisco Quevedo
The film concerning captain Alatriste (Viggo Mortensen), a Spanish soldier turned into mercenary . The picture is developed through the Spanish empire which took a time for the decadence and downfall , however during century XVII it was a battleground for rival powers : Luis XIII with his favorite Cardenal Richelieu who are backing Flandes independence against Philip IV and his Count Duke Olivares (Javier Camera) . The movie is set throughout the ¨Thirty years war¨ (1618-1648 ) between Catholics and Protestants which finished in the treatise of Westfalia . The flick describes various events and battles from the epoch as the ¨Breda surrender¨(in 1625 and Spanish army commanded by Ambrosio Spinola) that imaginatively is brought the life on the famous Velazquez picture , as the ¨Rocroi battle¨ (1643) which signified the fall Spanish main and pretty well filmed in spectacular and violent images as the last stand for the imperial Tercios .
Scenarios are breathtaking but no the plot , it is slightly confusing with some flaws ; besides , being sometimes slow-moving that makes it a bit tiring and dull . Screenwriter-director Agustin Diaz Yanes tried to condense the five novels from Arturo Perez Reverte in a runtime of two hours and some but it is a little embarrassment . However , the production design including palaces , streets , slums , homes , canteen , rooms are sensational and realized by the great designer Benjamin Fernandez who has got a successful American career (Man of fire , Uprising , Enemy of State). Painting-photography and colorful cinematography by top-notch cameraman Paco Femenia (Juana la Loca) though a little dark and excessive use of interior . In addition , brilliant and luxurious costume design was made by Francesca Sartori , she is a great specialist on Italian costume films . Atmospheric and sensitive music score by Roque Baños (The machinist , Crimen Ferfecto , 800 bullets) is finely fitted to the story . The motion picture was well directed by Agustin Diaz Yanes , as it is entertained for the Spanish history buffs . At a cost of 24 million Euros, this is the most expensive Spanish film ever made. Director Agustin called that amount enough for 'a European super-production and an American rubbish-production'. Agustin Diaz Yanes has directed some good films such as ¨Don't temp me¨, ¨Solo Quiero Caminar¨ and ¨Nadie Hablara con nosotras cuando Hayamos Muerto¨ . Rating : Acceptable picture , well worth watching
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