Jun 6, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Nothing beats seeing a good movie in a awesome theater. Except, of course, if you get to see an awesome movie in an awesome theater! I saw Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and I thoroughly enjoyed it enough to think about going for a second time!

The movie is about the famous Prince who most of us would have known when trying to take him to the Princess through the dungeons with the help of 4 keyboard buttons. Later, came the gaming consoles etc. that popularized the franchise enough to merit a movie out of it. But unlike ventures that were made into poorly made cheesy movies (ala Tomb Raider), PoP is a perfectly served blend of action, magical forces and stunning visuals.

Prince Dastan, the protagonist, is played by Jake Gyllenhaal. I had some serious doubts on the credibility of the movie once I saw the trailers: the trailer was more of a select scenes of action without much insight into the story itself and moreover Jake seemed a total misfit for the role. Strongly lingering images of Jake playing the young guy trying to escape the snow in the Day After Tomorrow & the boyish ranch hand in the Brokeback Mountain made him a suspect for this role, in my opinion (Jake is the younger brother of Maggie Gyllenhall, in case you din't know it!). But to his credit, at the end of the movie I could not think of a better person for the role.

Dastan is an orphan who gets adopted by the King of Persia after showing courage in the face of adversity. This makes him the youngest of the three Princes in the line to the throne - Tus & Garsiv. When the King is away from the city, news reaches the Princes about the treachery by the sacred city of Alamut which is selling weapons to the enemies of the Persian empire. The two Princes decide to invade the city aided by the counsel of their uncle Nizam, against the suggestion of Dastan. This leads to a trail of events during which the King, on his return to the city, gets killed and Jake is blamed for his death. Jake escapes with Princess Tamina (played by Gemma Arterton, and she is Hot!)of Alamut. Tamina is the guardian of the Dagger of Time which she safeguards from falling into the hands of evil men. The rest of the story is about how Dastan proves his innocence and also helps Tamina in returning the Dagger to safety. The strength of the movie is the realization by the Director that a story like this would abound with cliches during movie making: the culture of Persia has to be showcased in a way that everyone identifies with but yet must not be too banal, the hero has to be agile and fight many kinds of enemies yet there must be no poorly placed wise quips etc. The Director has walked this fine line and never let the movie drift away. The focus and packaging keeps the audience riveted. He has cleverly avoided pitfalls of loud mouthed villains (if you see The Mummy movies, you know what I am talking about), unnecessary number of mushy scenes with the female lead, sidekicks etc.

The film editing is by a trio that includes the legendary Michael Kahn who is one of my all time favorite and he has done a fabulous job in this movie. The movie has some stunning visuals that includes panoramic scenery and intelligent graphics. Soundtrack is a big plus for the movie too. I am a big sucker for multi-channel audio tracks and a movie with a storyline like PoP provides ample opportunities for it and the way it is has been smartly interspersed and employed, I just fell head over heels for it.

One of those movies that I would probably end up seeing many times over.

2 comments:

I June 7, 2010 at 9:52:00 AM EDT  

You have an email address?

Mambalam Mani June 7, 2010 at 10:13:00 AM EDT  

Yes, it is mambalammani@gmail.com

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