Master and Commander – screenplay by Peter Weir

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A good thing. A very good thing. A tight, well told story, wonderful historical detail, great performances, visually engaging. And nary a male-female exchange: no love story, and you don’t miss it. Not for a moment. First and foremost, this is a story about friendship; duty and honor and war are all there, but they serve as backup. Colorful, well done backup, but backup.

This is the first time I’ve got the sense of how tight quarters were on ships of this period. I did so much research on this very topic for Dawn on a Distant Shore, but I wish I had had these visuals to work with. Good stuff.

I should point out that the audience was probably 3:1 male:female, in spite of Russell Crowe (who was looking realistic for his role, and thus not too much the romantic hero).

2 Replies to “Master and Commander – screenplay by Peter Weir”

  1. Interesting comments on this at
    http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/newsh/items/moviereview/item_6859.html#10%20More
    which is a listing of the “most spiritually literate movies of 2003” (That’s a “top ten” list with forty films on it, which is after my own rule-evading heart . The backfile of reviews at that site has all kinds of overlooked Good Stuff.)

    And, do you know the two early Weir films, which stick in my head these many years later:

    The Last Wave
    http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/newsh/items/moviereview/item_5039.html

    and Picnic at Hanging Rock
    http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/newsh/items/moviereview/item_1313.html

    Both very simply done in some ways (I remember ONE “special effect” in Last Wave, and am not sure there were ANY in Picnic. I saw these in the same little theater where I first saw Star Wars and Close Encounters — it was that era of gee-whiz, jaw-dropping Big Pictures.) Deeply emotional, rich characters, enthralling stories, arresting images. I remember being stunned in Last Wave by how REAL the dream sequences were. Well worth a rental.

  2. Robyn – you might enjoy Wier’s “Gallipoli” if you’ve not already seen it. Quintessentially Australian and historically very accurate; a profoundly touching war movie.

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