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Beowulf and Grendel

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Well, because I've seen B and G it seemed a good idea for those of us who have to have our own place to discuss what we thought of it.

I did truly enjoy the film, especially Sturla's efforts to give Grendel that extra human edge!! Having him taunt Beowulf, throwing rocks etc. was humourous but had a much deeper meaning. He wasn't vicious in a cold blooded sense, and his having no wish to hurt Beo also spoke volumes.

Gerry was great in the film, he added again such a human quality, he wasn't a hero....just a guy doing what seemed right at the time. I think he played it well, and seemed to tap into what really was a very tough shoot to add to his character.

The only thing I saw as weird was that icelandic horses are quite small, and it looked funny, a big guy like Gerry in chainmail riding that wee horse!!!

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Guest greyeyegoddess

I really loved the movie...I thought it was funny, sad, beautiful, intense, touching, work of art! Gerry was so himself in the movie, it looked too easy. The sword fight scene was GREAT! Gerry knows how to handle his sword! :cunning:

Spoilers:

(ducking now) there were a couple of instances where the production was strange to me...

falling of Grendel's dad (too long)

Grendle's mom reaching for Gerry hand on the boat (not instantaneous reaction-a little slow)

and Grendle's attack on the dane's social building (ditto on top)

Nothing to do with Gerry, but for some reason it bothered me enough to remember them...

Sturla was a gracious man and he even thanked the Tarts! Whoo-hoo!

I think we did something for that movie. I'd see it again.

~alice

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I loved the movie as well, posted about it on the Support Center. The story is a wonderful morality tale about tolerance and learning to overcome our preconceived notions about things we don't know. Gerry is perfectly cast as Beowulf, he is a very heroic presence but through those amazing eyes he conveys the conflict that Beowulf undergoes as more of the facts are revealed about Grendel and why he has done what he has to the Danes. Yet there are times I felt he could have been more of a leader to his men rather than allowing certain things to happen. They all saw him as a hero, yet when the opportunity to be a real leader, when he could have stopped injustices, he did nothing but stand by and watch. Stellan is wonderful as the tormented King Hrothgar who is drinking away the pain of watching his people pay for his sins of the past. Ingvar as the nearly wordless Grendel is terrific. He can make you laugh and make you cry with the emotion he conveys through almost no understandable words but just a series of grunts and wails.

While I wasn't moved to tears like some (but then neither did POTO make me cry) I was touched by the tragedy, and found it interesting and refreshing that it was tempered with liberal amounts of humor. It wasn't as gory nor as curse-laden as I'd anticipated. There was only one scene I had to turn away from, and it is one I wish had been done differently because it was agonizing. I won't say specifically what it was for those who haven't seen it - but for those who have seen it, it was the scene in which Grendel finally escapes Beowulf - I wanted Beowulf to hasten the exit by "assisting" him in his release instead of watching and again, doing nothing.

A parallel I see with another movie (I must find them in all his movies) - in POTO I was touched by the idea that most of the Phantom's "ugliness" was in his eyes, and in the extreme measures he took to deal with being "wronged", rather than in his face. Likewise while at first Beowulf may be a bit of the cocky "hero" who allows some of that hero worship to go to his head, we soon seem to learn that it is in the eyes of others that he is so heroic while in his own eyes he grows much more human and subject to error.

The scenery and cinematography are incredible as you'd expect from what we've seen and heard on the B&G website. We saw a brand new digitized print, it was beautiful and clear. Sturla apologized for the less-than-wonderful quality of the print they had in Toronto - apparently they had problems with it and had to "doctor" it just to get it usable. This print was expensive, he said, but worth it. I'd have to agree.

(posted in an "Icelandic" color)

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Well, because I've seen B and G it seemed a good idea for those of us who have to have our own place to discuss what we thought of it.

I did truly enjoy the film, especially Sturla's efforts to give Grendel that extra human edge!! Having him taunt Beowulf, throwing rocks etc. was humourous but had a much deeper meaning. He wasn't vicious in a cold blooded sense, and his having no wish to hurt Beo also spoke volumes.

Gerry was great in the film, he added again such a human quality, he wasn't a hero....just a guy doing what seemed right at the time. I think he played it well, and seemed to tap into what really was a very tough shoot to add to his character.

The only thing I saw as weird was that icelandic horses are quite small, and it looked funny, a big guy like Gerry in chainmail riding that wee horse!!!

Icelandic horses range from 13.2 to 15.1 hands high ... however, they are inordinately sturdy and strong. ::D:

I thought the film was gorgeous as well. The movie has a lot to say about racism, interpersonal and internal conflict, and the nature of humanity. Add to that the beautiful cinematography ... it was just amazing.

However, I don't think it's going to get picked up for US distribution. This makes me very sad, because it's wonderful. However ... I just think it's too "smart" for the average American moviegoer. I'm not being snobbish here ... I'm just looking at what's selling. Films like "Hostel" can get an audience ... because people want pointless gore. They don't go to the movies to think. This is very sad in my mind.

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I have to agree with you Greyeyed, the scene with the mother swimming below the boat and grabbing for him seemed out of place. Mostly I found it wasn't properly tied in to the rest of the story for me.

Sporran, once again you have proven your eloquence, you described how I felt about the movie, proving once again why I don't write in the RR stories LOL. Give me a scientific problem or question and I'm good!!!

LOL

D

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This is an old thread but a lot more of you (like me) have seen it now I hope.

Possible *Spoiler*

Regarding the Sea Hag reaching out of the sea at the beginning, I took it as a symbol on several levels - one, to the audience, that this is not a strictly "realistic" film; two, to Beowulf, a kind of "did that just really happen" as no one else is aware of it and he's kind of unsure how to react to it; and three a kind of warning to Beowulf that there is much more going on than he understands or is being told. For me it fit, especially after his friend in the boat (can't remember his character's name) is almost drowned by the same hand.

Loved the sword play - why, as a generally non-violent type, do I love to see him hack people to pieces?

Loved his portrayal of Beowulf. He's a natural leader but he doesn't control his men. They are there by their own choice and can go home anytime they like. He allows them to act independently but they naturally follow his lead. I think his attitude points up the fact that this is not a normal quest. In a normal quest they run out screaming and hack the enemy to pieces. But here the enemy refuses to meet them. What now? In legend, Beowulf will control all events. In reality (i.e. the film) he's as confused and unsure of the next step as everybody else. The difference is that he has pledged to solve the problem and so he'll keep going until he does.

Needless to say, I loved this film!

Jane

Edited by Jeb

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Just a quick note about the sea hag.

The sea hag was Grendel's mother. This may have been a way that Sturla used to introduce her in the movie as she is the one that Beowulf has to fight later. The sea hag was really angry because Grendel was injured. In the poem, Grendel did not tear his own arm off, Beowulf did it. She was seeking revenge later when she fought with Beowulf.

I don't know if this helps any; I hope so.

The movie ended half way through the poem. I asked Sturla about this and he said he was working on the 2nd half. I would like to see that once it is finished. I hope Sturla is able to do it.

BonnieSkye

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The movie ended half way through the poem. I asked Sturla about this and he said he was working on the 2nd half. I would like to see that once it is finished. I hope Sturla is able to do it.

BonnieSkye

I knew that the movie only covered part of the poem but I did not know that Sturla was working on putting the rest of the poem onto film. If it comes to fruition it will be fascinating to see how that would be done.

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Well it has been a while since anyone has written in this thread and since I watched Beowulf and Grendel properly for the first time today I thought I'd comment. I had seen Wrath of Gods some time ago so it made it even more interesting knowing what they had to go through.

I loved Gerry in this film and like some of you have said at times the real him seemed to be coming through. I did laugh at certain lines like "when I catch you I'll stick this thing up your hairy arse". That's the Gerry I know and love :drool1: He is so good with a sword.

I did actually feel sorry for Grendel and glad Beowulf had a bit of a conscience. I liked how Selma(Sarah Polley) brought some light hearted quips to the film but wonder why she was the only one with a US/Canadian accent. Saying that there were all accents in this film.

Does anyone else think when he uses his scots accent in a film he sounds slightly different to when you see him on a chat show. Being Scottish myself I feel there are just not that many Scots actors who have made it big and I personally think it is down to their accent. The likes of Connery and McGregor have very unique Scottish accents especially Ewan McGregor - hard to tell where he comes from. Gerry does have a very strong Glasgow accent and I have often wondered if it has been a hindrence to him. When you see him on chat shows he is so animated, bubbly, full of life and i love the way he talks but in certain roles where he speaks with a Scottish accent it hasn't got the same spark. Can't explain it.

Moira

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Maybe it has more to do with the difference between using his own words, on a talk show or in an interview, and having to use the words written by someone else for a role. His accent may be more "natural" when he's just telling a story of his own. I do see that as he has had to "Americanize" for several roles his natural Glaswegian has gotten weaker. When he told us in Vegas in 2006 that he was losing his Scottish accent we all cried out "NO!!!!" I think Craig Ferguson's is much weaker and doesn't sound that much like Gerry's even though they are both Glaswegian. To my ear James McAvoy's accent sounds much more like Craig Ferguson's. But Craig has been here for more than 15 years and spent 8 of them putting on a British accent for The Drew Cary Show so who knows what that did to his natural accent. I have to say the hardest to understand Scot I've ever met was a fellow from Falkirk who was a vendor at one of our Scottish Festivals a couple of years ago. I loved listening to him but I could barely understand anything he said!

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I ended up having to take a road-trip from Albany to Montreal to see this film in March 2006 with a friend ( :wave: to HighlandHeather) in order to see this film. Has it been two years already?

I enjoyed the movie. I felt that they did a good job adapting the massive story, though the editing seemed a bit patchy and I can see some people finding it hard to follow. Gerry gave an excellent understated performance - he never made Beowulf into a over-the-top cartoonish figure...which I think could easily happen with epic warrior characters. The Icelandic landscape was stunning and almost a character itself. My one major complaint - aside from the editing - was Sarah Polley's performance. She was very flat and unemotional, reminding me more of the wannabe emo girls at the local burrito bar than a real social outcast survivor.

But it was worth the trip and I wouldn't mind seeing it again...if my missing DVD is ever found.

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