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Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Bounty - A Review

In my enthusiasm to go heavy on the "Classics" (AKA movies that don't carry the taint of the 21st Century) you can imagine my excitement when in a local discount store I spotted The Bounty, starring Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson, for only three New Zealand dollars!

Not only is this movie clothed in the talents of the above "greats" but it somehow managed to capture in it's talent net the two equally admired star fish, Daniel Day Lewis and Liam Neeson before they were drop dead famous!

Sorry, my idioms are all over the place today...

Needless to say this move was a gripping tale about the tense and complex struggle between Master's Mate Fletcher Christian (Gibson) and the infamous lieutenant William Bligh (Hopkins), Captain of the ill-fated Bounty.

The story, though legendary in the telling is in fact true and if imdb is anything to go by the movie is the most accurate depiction of the tale that exists in film, portrayed in flash back style through Bligh's trial after the event to determine how he came to lose his ship...

Bligh, relentless with ambition, tries to circumnavigate the globe via the treacherous Cape Horn, costing him the morel and respect of his crew. His authority is called into further question when, after a long stay in the Tahitian Paradise, he plucks the men away from their rest (and various romances with the natives) only to push them harder with discipline, cruel punishment and even worse - another attempt through the dreaded Cape.

Christian, by this leg of the voyage hopelessly pining for his Island Princess leads the men in an ambitious Mutiny which would see them return, with the Bounty, to their women and Bligh, along with a life boat full of loyalists, adrift at sea in a graphic and grotesque depiction of dehydration and braving various island savages.

The movie is slow paced but compelling and takes it's time to show in a convincing way how two close friends, Christian and Bligh, descend from close friends to bitter rivals. It's actually hard to believe that the director, Roger Donaldson, went on to make such artistically criminal disasters as Species and Dante's Peak! But he makes a magnificent come back in his direction of The World's Fastest Indian as if to say sorry for all the rubbish he made between these two great flicks!

One word of warning though, this movie does contain a lot of nudy scenes, but only to honestly portray the historical reality that the Tahitian females bore on the lady starved crew of the bounty, it's not exactly gratuitous or overtly sexual but some maturity and readiness to avert ones eyes might be necessary if you watch this film - yes I am old fashioned, but so what! This is not a movie to show in an all boys twelfth grade history class!

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1 comment:

  1. Pre-fame Liam Neeson fact: He was in Pilgrim's Promise, 1979. I checked it out from our library and was stunned to see him in it. After skimming through his IMDB profile, I'd say Liam gravitates slightly to these types of roles.

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