The blood-soaked tale of a Norse warrior's battle against the great and murderous troll, Grendel. Heads will roll. Out of allegiance to the King Hrothgar, the much respected Lord of the Danes, Beowulf leads a troop of warriors across the sea to rid a village of the marauding monster. The monster, Grendel, is not a creature of mythic powers, but one of flesh and blood - immense flesh and raging blood, driven by a vengeance from being wronged, while Beowulf, a victorious soldier in his own right, has become increasingly troubled by the hero-myth rising up around his exploits. Beowulf's willingness to kill on behalf of Hrothgar wavers when it becomes clear that the King is more responsible for the troll's rampages than was first apparent. As a soldier, Beowulf is unaccustomed to hesitating. His relationship with the mesmerizing witch, Selma, creates deeper confusion. Swinging his sword at a great, stinking beast is no longer such a simple act. The story is set in barbarous Northern ...Written by
I was fortunate enough to view the world-premiere performance of Beowulf and Grendel at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September 14th, and I found it to be a hauntingly beautiful film, with some surprising comedic moments added into the mix. All of the lead actors (especially Gerard Butler as Beowulf and Stellan Skarsgard as the King) were superb in their roles, and although I have never read the original epic poem, I found that the story was very well-told and that the director and his cast definitely succeeded in delivering the many-layered messages of racial tolerance, bravery and the real meaning of heroism. The Icelandic setting was absolutely breathtaking, and I certainly agree that it became an additional character and an essential part of the story as well. Finally, the bits of comedy which resulted from Beowulf's interactions with his band of warriors were a welcome and realistic addition to a story that could have easily taken itself too seriously and become bogged down in melodrama. I highly recommend this film to those who enjoy cinematic experiences which fall outside (and well above) the normal Hollywood, cookie-cutter action films. I am also looking forward to its wide release (I hope) here in North America in the next few months, since one viewing of this weirdly wonderful film is definitely not enough!
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