Thursday, October 25, 2007


I’ve been seeing movies that frankly are so disappointing that I don’t even feel like writing here about them. One not so good movie is Alatriste that since is getting some buzz I’ll write a little about it.

Described as the most expensive production up-to-date in Spanish film industry at a cost of 24 million Euros, this director Agustín Díaz Yánez film tells the story of Diego Alatriste a soldier and mercenary that lived in 17th century Spain. Based on the novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte that’s set in the Phillip IV reign with Spain being then one of the most powerful countries in the world, if not the most powerful. This is a time in Spain’s history that is quite interesting as marks the downfall of the empire, the times where Francisco de Quevedo, Velásquez and Lope de Vega lived and of course the Inquisition.

So, with an interesting story with many historic and arts important real life characters, a novel that has great accolades, a movie with robust budget, great well-know actors you imagine that has to be a great production telling a great story. But unfortunately it does not happen, as the movie is a mediocre intention of doing a commercial pic that could attract all audiences.

There are so many flaws in this lengthy and boring movie that I will have to do a very long post and I won't, but let me mention that if this was supposed to be a commercial picture with great action the battles, sword fights and many war related moments, truth is that they are absolutely not interesting and really boring.

The acting is not that bad especially Javier Cámara that plays Conde Duque de Olivares but I feel that with so many characters there was no time for character development and actors like Adriana Gil, Elena Anaya, Eduardo Noriega and others had fragmented roles that did not allow them to do their usual thing.

Then we have Viggo Mortensen as Diego Alatriste. His real life Spanish is very good, but he sort of whispers and mumbles when he's in character and is so hard to understand him that I watched the movie with English subtitles to be able to understand what he says.

The only thing I really enjoyed is to be able to see some reproductions of Velásquez paintings and seeing a battle and then the painting of it. Some scenes look and feels like paintings, which is also enjoyable.

Still, some critics and viewers express positive comments about this movie so it's a movie that either you will like or dislike, no middle ground here.

I cannot recommend this movie that with 18 nominations has win only 4 awards mostly in lesser categories like costume design, production design, production supervision.

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