Day of the Falcon [Blu-ray]
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I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this film to review. Day of the Falcon is a "well-oiled machine" that moves along fairly fast given the 130 minute run time. Within this movie, you can expect to see some romance, action, betrayal, and violence. This movie pretty much gives you all the drama you crave and can handle.
Day of the Falcon takes place in the early 20th Century in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, which are divided by feuding tribes and where there is basically no loyalty. It starts out with a meeting between two tribe leaders, Emir Nesib (Antonio Banderas) and Sultan Amar (Mark Strong) making peace after a battle between the two, which Nesib won. Nesib has Sultan hand over his two sons, Auda and Saleh, to make sure he will not battle against him again and they both promised the area of that land would not be claimed by either tribe.
The film then progresses in time and an American named, Thurkettle, shows up on an airplane. Thurkettle works for Texan Oil and he meets with Nesib to tell him there could be a lot of oil on the unclaimed land and this could make him rich. Nesib thinks about it and let's them drill and, sure enough, they find oil on the land. After finding oil, they make an oil field in that area and Nesib gets rich. Sultan objects to this because Nesib is basically breaking the truce they made at the beginning of the film. As Nesib is getting rich, he starts to improve his tribe, or kingdom, by making schools, a library, and even bringing electricity to the area. Prince Auda, who was raised by Nesib and not his real father, was forced to marry Nesib's daughter, Princess Leyla (Freida Pinto).Read more ›
"Day of the Falcon" (2011 release from France/Qatar; 130 min.) is also known as "Black Gold" in certain markets. The epic desert-and-oil story is set in the 1930s in a fictional Middle East area where two tribes are dealing differently with the unexpected windfalls of crude oil discoveries. As the movie opens, we see how, in order to preserve peace, the Amar tribe leader sends off his two young sons to live with the rival Nesib tribe leader, with an additional agreed "no-man's land" area called the Yellow Belt between the two tribes. Skip 15 years forward and we now see the sons are grown men, and a Texas oil company strikes it big in the Yellow Belt and approaches the two rivaling tribes. The Nesib tribe decides to work with Big Oil while the Amar tribe rejects it out of ideological/religious considerations. Will the two tribes fight it out? Will the two sons eventually return to their original tribe? To tell you much more of this plot-heavy movie would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Several comments: first and foremost, the main reason I was interested in seeing the movie is because of its director Jean-Jacques Annaud, veteran of a number of great movies (none more so than "Quest of Fire" from the 1980s). Second, this movie is a French-Qatar co-production, with most of the financing from the Doha Film Institute. Why is this releveant?Read more ›
Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, the film is set in the Middle East during the early part of the twentieth century when oil is discovered in a "no man's land" that divides two warring tribes. The forward-thinking ruler of one tribe (Antonio Banderas) embraces the finding, realizing that the accompanying wealth can help his people, while the other sultan (Mark Strong) despises any influence from the outside, modern world, claiming that such amenities are against the Koran. War is re-ignited, and the principal player in the conflict turns out to be the studious son of Strong (Tahar Rahim), who is now also the son-in-law of Banderas, having married his daughter, played by Freida Pinto.
DAY OF THE FALCON is a handsome, well-directed picture, filled with exciting action sequences and beautifully photographed desert vistas. The story is certainly involving, and the actors are more than equal to their roles. It is a movie well worth seeing.
Question: If this picture is so good, why did it not get any sort of meaningful release in the United States where it virtually went direct-to-video?
Possibly for two reasons:
First, the producers, in an effort not to offend anybody, took a middle-of-the-road approach to the material. Are we, as an audience, supposed to be cheering for Bandaras, who wants to bring his people into the modern world, or should our sympathies lie with the more traditional Strong? Even when Rahim starts leading his father's military, we are not sure as to where his true loyalties lie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful view of a complex cultural and political situation from multiple perspectives.
Great action, memorable characters
With fantastic scenery and setting, Day of the Falcon suffers only from being about 20 minutes too long. Read morePublished 4 months ago by spiders-n-vinegaroons
Excellent movie about family and things that divide them. Have watched and enjoyed several times.Published 6 months ago by Rambo
I first saw this on Netflix last year and liked it so much I made it a favorite and watched it several times. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I just love this movie, for me it's a love story more than war between two cities.Published 7 months ago by Irace Rivas