Monday, January 28, 2008

The Golden Compass

Absolutely agree with Nicole Kidman, she shouldn’t play villains and it is regrettable that she decided to please Philip Pullman (trilogy writer) -after he wrote her a personal letter- and accepted to play this role that does not suit her at all.

This is the first installment of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and the movie is based on the first book Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass) and tells the story of Lyra, an orphan living in a fantastic parallel universe in which a dogmatic dictatorship called the Magisterium threatens to dominate the world. When Lyra’s friend is kidnapped, she travels to the far North in an attempt to rescue him and rejoin her uncle.

Not being familiar with the books, the first part of the movie seemed to me very rushed with little time dedicated to introduce the large amount of characters and there was a moment that I gave up trying to figure out who was what and got bored. But I kept watching and the second half becomes more engaging as actually they stopped introducing characters and there was something going on as narrative.

Directed by Chirs Weitz who claims that when the DVD is released he’s going to include the directors cut with 180 minutes, which probably will make the movie more understandable (and interesting) since the very beginning.

But after reading about this movie and finding a lot of information about the books, I got really interesting in reading these fantasy books as they have a theme that sounds more closer to reality and less fantasy only. This time I’ll try to find the books as the story in the movie was changed to tone down the potential controversy, which happened anyway.

Perhaps the best thing about this installment is the young actress that plays Lyra, Dakota Blue Richards that gives a good performance. There are a lot of good actors in this movie but perhaps in the following installments they will have better parts to play.

The movie didn’t do well in USA, but in international markets did ten times better than in USA, so perhaps they will decide to continue with the trilogy or maybe not. But now definitively I’m looking forward to read the books.

Can’t say I recommend the movie, but if they do a worthy second installment, then you’ll have to see the first part. Think that the best is to wait for the possible extended cut in the DVD release.

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