The movie is supposed to tell the story of how Mehmet II conquered Constantinople. So far so good, it could be a good story, given the right conditions.
However, it ends up being a whole lot of bad. Except for most parts of the visual aspects of the movie, which look great to the human eye.
Now, from the start we are introduced to Mehmet and how it's his destiny to conquer Constantinople. Good, but why is he portrayed as a man with no flaws? Clearly, he was a great and inspiring man when he lived, but he was just as human as all others of the species who have lived. Bring some depth to the characters when writing your script, please. I shed a tear when I saw the death scene with his father almost at the start of the movie, but no other psychological elements where ever expanded upon.
The worst part of the movie is not the portrayal of the conquest itself, no, it's the build-up to that. There's just too many inaccuracies. Sure, if you watch this movie purely from a pro-Turkish point of view, those "details" might not matter, but no matter how you put it you are being deceitful to your viewers about the other "sides".
1) There exists two languages in this movie: Turkish and Arabic.
2) There exists a standardized uniform for European Crusaders (11th century mail tabards), Latin Auxiliaries (Clunky over-sized immobilizing chainmail or cloth-like leather) Byzantine Soldiers (Grey scale armour), and the Turkish army (Red vests with all with the same fluted Ottoman helmet). Of course, these things are historically based and fit in some kind of time period, but variation is important too. To add to this, the two lieutenants of the movie are again wearing some sort of fantasy leather armour no one with money at the time would have worn. Where's the plate armour for the Genoese? 3) There exists three ways of melee-combat: 1: Slowly move around and wait to die (All others but the Turks). 2: Thrust and slash hard with your weapon to kill your opponent or die trying (the Turks). 3: One-hit kill people with agile and fast movement (supporting characters/heroes).
4): Apparently, no sack had ever happened in 1204 and Constantinople still stood as the towering beacon of Antiquity and Medievality combined, looking better than ever imagined. I know this is computer graphics, but again this is dishonesty.
5): The Greeks (who thought it wise to speak Turkish, of course) are naive gluttons who think they can puppeteer with the superpower of their time. In fact, at this point, they were nothing more than a vassal state who where sitting and hoping for a rescue or having already given up hope (most people having already emigrated to start the renaissance). This political reality could of course be less melodramatic to portray, but again, why not give the characters some depths? This brings me to my next point.
6) Constantine XI is portrayed as a raving madman who is spoiled and possesses no diplomatic skills whatsoever. It's bad enough that his beard is so clearly fake and that he speaks in Turkish and seems oblivious to the events around him: He also has to be the "evil" guy who hates the Turks. Kudos to whoever did the costume design, but his character is nothing more than a caricature, and while that could have it's place in a comedy, it shouldn't have any place in a serious historical war movie. I won't go into detail with his courtiers as they are even bigger stereotypes and imbeciles than he is betrayed to be, but with this kind of black/white relationship it's clear just how biased this film is.
7) No conqueror is all kind and loving. Mehmet's outward appearance holds only the authority the script writers gave him, there's nothing natural about it. Kingdom of Heaven had a similar setup, but there was at least a few character developments between Saladin and de Ibelin. As said here this is just the case of:
All-loving energetic smiling conqueror who loves women and children
Megalomaniac miniature-Emperor with a Napoleon-complex who holds the world record in cynicism and failed attempts of political spin
Where is the Devşirme recruitment system and the Kapikulu? Where is the Jizya tax? Of course these things never happened, as we all know.
8) Where is the awesome Ottoman military music? Also, the lack of any Greek in this movie prevents it from having any Byzantine Chant.
9) The Women in this movie act just as terribly as the men (or as the script decreed, quite possibly). Also, thumbs down for no real Harem of course :-).
Watch Tirante El Blanco if you want more on the demise of the defunct Byzantine Empire. As for a movie finally worthy of the great statesman Mehmet II, I guess we'll all just have to wait.
As for the movie: 4/10 for visual effects, the construction of Rumelihisarı, the awesome Ottoman turbans the first charge and the entrance to the city where Mehmet is truthful to the quasi-historical picture. The rest is bad.
24 out of 37 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.