& COMMANDER:THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
CROWE,PAUL BETTANY,JAMES D'ARCY,EDWARD WOODALL,CHRIS LARKIN,MAX
PIRKIS,JACK RANDALL,MAX BENITZ,LEE INGLEBY,RICHARD PATES,ROBERT
PUGH,BILLY BOYD,GEORGE INNES
ON THE NOVELS "DESOLATION ISLAND","FAR SIDE
OF THE WORLD" & "MASTER & COMMANDER"
BY PATRICK O'BRIAN
BY PETER WEIR & JOHN COLLEE
BY SAMUEL GOLDWYN JR.,DUNCAN HENDERSON & PETER WEIR
BY PETER WEIR
is 1805 and Napoleon has taken control of Europe. Only the British
Navy stands before him, as the high seas turn into battlefields. The
HMS Surprise, led by Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey (Russell
Crowe) - a well respected officer and seaman who grew up on the Surprise
under the command of the infamous Lord Nelson - has been ordered to
intercept the French Privateer Acheron which has made passage towards
the Pacific with all intentions to carry the war into those waters.
When the Surprise is attacked by the very ship they are pursuing,
Captain Aubrey comes to the realisation that the Acheron is a much
bigger, faster and well equipped vessel that would be near impossible
to catch. Never the less, Aubrey orders the re-construction of his
damaged ship and sets out to find and destroy the Acheron, a move
which surprises his men, especially best friend and ship surgeon Dr.
Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) who believes that Aubrey is placing
his pride before his men's safety. As Aubrey and his men press on
with their mission they must contend with crippling typhoons and never
ending heatwaves, while also confronting their fears in the form of
ancient superstitions and curses.
A rip roaring adventure on the high seas, Master and Commander:
The Far Side of the World is a great, extremely realistic film
about the men who command and serve on a duelling man-of-war, which
is rich in detail and faultless in presentation.
The characters are thoroughly fleshed out and perfectly cast. The
feeling of camaraderie among the cast is infectious, especially between
Aubrey and Maturin, who although differ in their opinions and attitudes
towards war and duty (Maturin is the anarchist to Aubrey's disciplinarian),
they both share a solid bond throughout despite their numerous fallouts.
Their violin and cello duets (Crowe learning to play violin for the
role) in particular makes for interesting viewing.
Crowe is great. He is an actor he contains the old class swagger for
this type of role, while also possessing the qualities of strength
and leadership which inhabits Aubrey. In his second conseqetive movie
with Crowe (the first being A
Beautiful Mind), Paul Bettany provides the perfect
counter balance as the opinionated doctor.
Peter Weir - a director of thorough detail and impeccable style -
provides excellent direction. The brilliant opening battle sequence
is reason enough to watch this movie. It is an excellent action sequence
which is enhanced by its astonishing sound effects (even the eerie
silences and creaks gave me goose bumps). The special effects were
extremely well done (the typhoon scene was very realistic), and equally
impressive is the Surprise, which is really a replica of the HMS Rose,
a French ship captured by the British in 1757. The ship itself felt
like a living breathing character, and the compassion which Aubrey
feels for it is shared throughout the film.
This is the best film I had ever seen which was set in the ocean,
a swash buckler unlike any other. I hope for many more films like