The Name of the Rose [Blu-ray]
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All I can say is that I am in awe of the work done by the director in bringing the book to the screen. The visuals alone express exactly the sense and the setting that Eco took pages and pages of info dump to allude to.
The size of the whole complex with small poorly clad men scuttling over it at the mercy of the weather accurately places man (in the understanding of the time) between cruel and capricious nature (i.e.: godlessness) and being dwarfed by the immense buildings dedicated to god, which represent his power and importance in the world, and the puny stature of man.
The dark interiors, lit only by fire highlight the fear, superstition and lack of education and outside contact that the average 'simple' person had. It made real the poverty and the terror and the precarious hold on life the people had, and how they would grasp at anything that promised safety and salvation. How it was so easy to believe in demons, and witches and other physical manifestations of their hard life. The strange look of the monks also represents the difficulty of surviving unscathed by disease, or accident.
At the ending of the medieval period the church had grown into a fat, rich, bloated institution more interested in temporal matters, and internal minutia (angels dancing on the head of a pin) than on acting as shepherds to god's flock.
The movie shows the Benedictine monks, the caretakers of the monastery and local flock, as those who started with a good heart, yet who uphold the status quo in fear rather than love.Read more ›
For those viewers who like at least one of the following: (1) a good 'whodunnit' movie; (2) a credible transposition of the medieval church environment (i.e. Western European / Catholic) in film; (3) an intriguingly good film that captivates an open mind, regardless of educated props and such, this film is indeed an event. To the first point, suffice it to say this film keeps the plot the same as in the book--and a lot has been written about the latter. In support of the other points, I should say Annaud's film is an audio-visual delight that strives for authenticity and manages to achieve it quite well. The monastic environment where everything takes place is elaborately recreated with means such as the wonderful chorals performed by the actors themselves, medieval-styled clothing (make and fabric), lighting, replicas of medieval books, and so much more. Plenty of food for imagination!
There is one exception one may take from the approach in which the film's author decided to cast the characters. Despite their having distinct physiognomies, one may say, they are distinctively ugly. A matter of taste or maybe commerce? The two overlooked (indirect) advantages of such casting are well worth mentioning. Most actors were far away from mainstream, and they speak in an English accented by their own tongues. What a suggestive allusion to an environment in which Latin was spoken with accents!Read more ›
It is an excellent production as well. The plot and dialogue are thoughtful. The visual scenery helps much to set a proper mood. It is graphic enough to have the kind of impact it needs as a mystery/suspense movie. Its' plot evolves nicely as the mystery of the Abbey unfolds. Every actor, particularly Connery and Slater, delivers a sound performance. Each character displays the seriousness one would expect from members of medieval religious orders, yet their emotions do show through at times, revealing the feelings that reside behind their clerical exteriors. This film is outstanding.
A medieval monastery may not sound like a setting for a thriller, yet this is what Arnaud achieves. In the film (and in the book on which the film is based, sometimes losely) Brother William of Baskerville (played by Sean Connery), a Franciscan monk, is asked by the abbot of an abbey in North Italy early in the 14th century to investigate a suspicious death. During William's stay in the abbey, more suspicious deaths happen, which all seem to be connected. Although the monks seem inclined to blame the devil or other supernatural forces, William is the prototype of a rational person putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Thus William finds that the deaths have something to do with one or more books which are being copied by monks in the library of the monastery. But he is not allowed to see the books in question.
This is where this film starts to transcend being merely a very good thriller. The action happens early in the 1300s at a time when there is no printing yet and all manuscripts have to be laboriously copied, a process which can take years and obviously limits the distribution of books to extremely few (it was not untypical for a royal library in the Middle Ages to have only 10 books...). The typical place where books where copied was in monasteries.
Yet here comes the rub : from the 13th century onwards a number of writings by Greek philosophers, in particular Aristoteles (repeatedly referred to in the film), are being rediscovered in Europe (often via scholars in muslim Spain) after having been lost for more than a thousand years. Aristoteles had advocated that there is a rational anwer to everything.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have been looking for a copy of this for ages. I was so happy to get this. Fascinating story, although slow moving at times.Published 3 days ago by Maree Pennells
Choice of actors very apt. The suggestion of divine intervention to eliminate the dastardly, official representative of the Inquisition was perhaps a little overdone.Published 9 days ago by Jema
Regretfully, I purchased this to have a "dvd" of "The Name of the Rose". It came from England and is 'prohibited' by some area interpretation from being played on... Read morePublished 21 days ago by David B. O'Connor
Great movie.There is not that many movies made this well any more.Published 1 month ago by steven johnson
Very good, very sinister and somewhat unknown film. One of Christian Slater's earliest pieces of work, and he doesn't disappoint. Nor does anyone else. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Greg Torino
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