Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

The Count Of Monte Cristo – 2002

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Whilst watching 2002’s “The Count Of Monte Cristo”, it’s extremely difficult to avoid the fact that I am watching King Edward VIII, Albus Dumbledore, Superman and Jesus Christ, sometimes in the exact same shot!
Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Richard Harris and Henry Caval star in Kevin Reynolds’ eloquent 2002 drama of redemption and injustice.

“The Count Of Monte Cristo”, based on the novel of the same name, tells the story of Edmond Dantes (Caviezel), a man falsely accused of treason during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Dealing with elements of blackmail and betrayal, the film begins quite strikingly, yet it unfortunately seems rushed and overly dramatised.
As the narrative progresses and crucial plot points emerge, the poetic nature of the motion picture adaptation becomes increasingly necessary and just.

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A slow beginning, the film proceeds pleasantly, escalating vastly in emotion, agony and drama. We see Dantes unfairly imprisoned for 13 years, where he meets Abbe Faria (Harris), who changes his life forever.
In exchange for assisting him in breaking out of prison, Faria teaches Dantes how to read and write. the pair are not too dissimilar to “The Shawshank Redemption’s” Andy Dufresne and Ellis Redding.

Dantes evokes an incredible amount of sympathy from the audience, as his seemingly eternal struggle begins to overpower him and carry on with him long after his return to civilisation. Wounded, battered, broken but not defeated, Dantes’ courage and heroism is defiant, inspiring and valiant, a trait very similar to Dufresne.

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Guy Pearce (a personal favourite) is excellent as Fernand Mondego, however it appears that early on in the piece, his Australian accent is not disguised in any particular way. It seems dampened, but it remans obvious throughout the first act. It is only later on in the piece that the eloquently British (but not overly so) accent emerges, adding substance and menace to the character. Pearce is one of the most gifted actors alive today, a true national treasure.

Supremely acted and excellently structured, “The Count Of Monte Cristo” is a classical and poetic dramatic piece that is engaging and entertaining throughout.
With a climax that appears to be a sugar-coated and moderated, but nevertheless, a Tarantino-esque sequence of redemption and vengeance, the film sums itself up powerfully and passionately.

3.5/5

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