Romulus and Remus, two shepherds and loyal brothers, end up taking part to a journey that will lead one of them to be the founder of the greatest nation ever seen. However, the fate of the chosen one will pass from killing his own brother.
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Romulus and Remus are 18-year-old shepherds brothers living in peace near the Tiber river. Convinced that he is bigger than gods' will, Remus believes that he is meant to become king of the city he will found together with his brother. But their tragic destiny is already written. This incredible journey will lead the two brothers to creating one of the greatest empires the world has ever seen.Written by
Romulus and Remus : The First King (Il primo re) is an Italian film shot in the Latin language, featuring the story of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founding brothers of Rome. This movie, although chronicling a legend, sticks more to reality, without the nursing wolves or other fantastical elements of the legend. Instead, this film presents a real, gritty and interesting account of the tale.
I ended up enjoying this film quite a bit. The Latin language in the film is interesting; it is wonderful to hear the language on the big screen, and is almost a surreal experience, as the language is little used in other aspects of the modern world. The action is gritty, with campy blood spurts that border on comical - something I ended up enjoying and that added charm to the film. One of the big pluses for me was the feeling, atmosphere and cinematography of the film. This feels like a world steeped in myth, with individuals struggling with reality, luck and myth and the intersection between these. The portrayal of the vestal virgin and sacred fire of Rome, for example, is interesting. The vestal does not have magic powers, but instead uses cunning, curses and the intimidation of her position to influence and control events. The mist steeped forests, overflowing Tiber River, and interesting atmosphere add to this world, where myths, beliefs and legends feel concrete and real.
On the mediocre side, we have the acting. Relatively fine, but with no special performances. The way the brothers are written feels rushed, and the motivation for one brothers turn to despotic power is never really elaborated on. He just goes quickly from noble to despotic with little motivation. The actors themselves are fine, although some performances feel subdued - a possible side effect of using Latin over Italian in the filming process.
On the poor side, the story feels quite rushed here. There are many positive aspects of this film, but the story itself does not fit the wonderful atmosphere of the rest of the film, much to its detriment.
Overall, a solid 7/10. In my mind, this means the film is of good quality and I enjoyed my time with it. I could easily recommend this film for fans of Roman history, or those looking for a good ancient action drama with some cool apsects to it. Worthy of a watch for sure.
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