Beowulf Movie - What a Thriller!
Beowulf is an American fantasy movie that draws upon the tale narrated in an Old English poem. A 2007 release of famous director Robert Zemeckis, Beowulf was best known in cinematographic circles for the unique "motion capture process". Similar technology had been applied earlier in films like Monster House.
The stars of the movie were Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie and Ray Winstone. Supporting cast included Robin Penn, John Malkovich, and Crispin Glover among others. The launch date was 16th November, 2007 in the United States and United Kingdom.
Dreaming About Beowulf!
I had an interesting (some might call it weird!) idea of trying to imagine what kind of dental care the characters in Beowulf may have received - and which of them wears dentures (would it be Grendel?), what sort of dental insurance they might be eligible for, or if King Hrothgar wanted to get dental bridges or braces what might they do.
Then I extended the fantasy to cosmetic dentistry, wondering which dentist Queen Welatheow would visit for a root canal treatment or a teeth whitening job. And even what toothpaste Grendel might use, and what Wiglaf would plug his favorite electric toothbrush into!
That's when my computer beeped indicating email marketing and I woke up - and realized I was so obsessed by Beowulf, I was even having dreams (or nightmares) about it!
So what is Beowulf about?
Ray Winstone plays the brave soldier, Beowulf. Along with his army, Beowulf travels to Denmark. His best friend Wiglaf (played in the movie by Brendan Gleeson) accompanies him on the mission ordered by King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins). Their brief is to destroy a mythical monster called Grendel.
When Beowulf arrives in Denmark at the royal palace, he finds himself enamored by Hrothgar's wife, Queen Welatheow. Robin Penn plays the attractive damsel in the Beowulf movie, and the set is an inspiration for any landscaper.
To entice the monster Grendel out of hiding, Beowulf and his men celebrate in the mead hall. Leaping to the attack, Beowulf discovers that the reason for Grendel's dislike of celebrations is his acutely tuned hearing, which makes the noise painful to him. Finding this out, Beowulf uses it to his advantage and wounds Grendel. The hurt Grendel flees back to his cave on the outskirts and tells his mother what happened.
She swears revenge, attacking the army swiftly and slaying everyone but Beowulf and Wiglaf. When Beowulf chases her back to the cave and enters, he finds that Grendel's mother is actually a beautiful woman (Angelina Jolie) - who offers Beowulf a kingdom if he will sire a son through her to replace Grendel.
A royal wedding was in the offing. Years afterwards, Beowulf is married to Wealtheow. But their union is not blessed. And so Beowulf starts an affair with Ursula.
Seduced to accept her advances, Beowulf returns to hear from Hrothgar that he too had once been through the same experience - and that Grendel is really his son! In a dramatic shift of events, Hrothgar crowns Beowulf king and kills himself.
The rest of Beowulf movie traces the rule of the new king until the point where he is forced to confront a dragon sent by Grendel's mother to destroy him. Can Beowulf confront his son and kill him to save his kingdom? The mother of all battles ensues, with a suitably dramatic end to a very nice film.
What makes Beowulf movie unique is that the cast acted on a motion capture stage. What you may not realize as you watch the film is that the images are being altered on screen using computer generated images. The animated counterparts are uncannily similar to the actors and easily recognized.
The Wikipedia page for Beowulf movie states that author Neil Gaiman and screenwriter Roger Avary wrote a screen adaptation of Beowulf in May 1997 (they had met while working on a film adaptation of Gaiman's The Sandman in 1996, before Warner Bros. canceled it). The script had been optioned by ImageMovers in the same year and set up at DreamWorks with Avary slated to direct and Robert Zemeckis producing.
Zemecikis, among other quotes, famously told his screenwriters to create fantasy, with this quote:
"There is nothing that you could write that would cost me more than a million dollars per minute to film. Go wild!"
Truly quotes to live by for any movie-maker across times!
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