I do not have time to write a long detailed review and I’m sorry for that. But , maybe, it is better this way. I do not have much to say about this movie which I saw at the weekend.
Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s ROBIN HOOD has recently opened 2010 Cannes Festival, but would a movie like this ever won a film festival? What I’m sure of is that it has been filling in theaters and will go on for a while doing that. I didn’t read many enthusiastic reviews, though… but the few positive ones convinced me I had to give it a try. It is definitely different from any ROBIN HOOD I had seen so far. But is this a merit?
The story is briefly told. Robin Longstride, skillful archer in the service of Richard the Lionheart during his ten-year-long Crusade, now on his way home , predating from time to time French castles, is only interested in glory and saving his life. His ambition changes once King Richard dies in a battle and he is back to England. He finds himself replacing Sir Robert Loxley, who died in an ambush. Under false pretences he gets to Nottingham county, oppressed by King John’s taxes and the Church’s greed.
In Nottingham he meets Lady Marian, Sir Robert Loxley’s widow ( an excellent Cate Blanchett), extremely sceptical to the real intentions of the man. Thanks to his efforts to obtain Lady Marian’s trust, he becomes a favourite of the people in the county. Everything , in the end, will be decided by an epic final battle on the white Dover cliffs but the story ends where it used to start: Robin and his men become outlaws in Sherwood Forest.
I loved this more mature version of lady Marian who is as strong as a man at fighting, a very strong-willed, brave, charming lady.
Obviously, there is a Sheriff in Nottingham, a barely recognizable Matthew McFadyen (Mr Darcy 2005 ) but he is, unexpectedly, a rather marginal presence in the story. The real evil soul is Sir Godfrey. He ravages the kingdom with his raids (Mark Strong). The wicked nobleman is engaged in a debt collection activity on behalf of the unpopular King John. (Where is my Guy of Gisborne? I missed him so much!) and plots with Philip King of France, England’s worst enemy.
(Mr Darcy playing the evil guy)
(Mr Thornton playing the evil Guy)
The intention is that of creating a tougher, more verosimile and less romantic portrait of the legendary outlaw. The film is quite long (too long?) , well highlighted by a good soundtrack, rather dark and gloomy - mainly greenish - but can you believe it? I found it a bit boring (quite boring?)
Have you seen it? Did you like it? I really hope so. It’s so frustrating to go to the cinema, watch a movie you’ve long expected and feel you are … something like … performing a duty, a task, instead of simply enjoying it!
Sorry for being so blunt!
I just wanted to close with a positive remark: I loved Mr Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind” and if I have to choose one of his movies directed by Ridley Scott I’d choose … “A Good Year” : lovely, romantic , existentialist.