Tristan and Isolde
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In the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde, young lovers become doomed against the forces of royal politics. English knight Tristan wins the hand of the daughter of the Irish King, but the love threatens the truce between their two countries.
- Commentary by executive producer Jim Lemley and co-producer Anne Lai
- Commentary by screenwriter Dean Georgaris
- "Love Conquers All: The Making of Tristan + Isolde" featurette
- Image galleries (Behind-the-scenes, Production Design and Costume Design)
- Music video
- Trailer and TV spots
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There are many version of the tale of Tristan and Isolde from antiquity, so director Kevin Reynolds ("Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves") and screenwriter Dean Georgaris ("Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life") have consdierable leeway in telling their version (i.e., what they do with the tale is as legitimate as what Wagner did with his operatic version). The story is set after the fall of the Roman Empire, which was when Odoacer deposed the last ruling emperor in 476 A.D. All that means is that the story takes place during the Dark Ages, at a time when Ireland had conquered the Britons, who remained a divided people. Lord Marke (Rufus Sewell) has emerged as a man who could be a unifying figure, which regires King Donnchadh (David O'Hara) to take him down. But when Donnchadh arrives in Cornwall, his plans are thwarted by Tristan (James Franco), the adopted nephew of Lord Marke. However, Tristan is apparently killed in battle, and his body is put on a funeral boat, set afire, and sent out to sea.
This is the point when Fate intervenes. Tristan washes ashore in Ireland, where he is found by the beautiful Isolde (Sophia Myles), daughter of King Doochadh. Hiding her identity, she nurses him back to health, and the two become lovers. But then the king discovers Tristan's boat and begins looking for him, forcing Isolde to send him away and back to his home. Meanwhile the game of power politics continues and Doochadh decides to give his daughter in marriage to the winner of a tournament that has been fixed so that a weak leader will be proped up this alliance to the crown. Howeve, Tristan is not party to the fix and we come to the grand irony of the tale: Tristan wins the woman he loves to be the bride of the man who has been like a father to him.
This is a film where I like the way the story plays out. Tristan broods a bit too much to be a real romantic figure, and Isolde keeps complaining about her father's ability to marry her off to anybody she likes, as if she just got off the boat and was not raised in a world where fathers had to pay dowries so that somebody would take their daughter off of their hands. The decision to have Tristan and Isolde be lovers before her marriage to Lord Marke was a good move, because it sets up my favorite scene where the lovers have been exposed and Marke demands an explanation. Tristan, to no one's surprise, says nothing, refusing to either explain or excuse what has happened. But then Marke goes to Isolde and asks the magic question, "How long?" She tells him and in his look and in his response, Marke proves himself to be the leader he aspires to be.
What follows at that point plays out the tragedy to its requisite conclusion. It may well be that I am too old for such tales, but I actually was more interested in how the politics played out than the romance. Then again, it could simply be because we know the lovers are doomed from the start (Nobody plays the Romeo and Juliet card and expects the audience to be thinking the couple are going to live happily ever after). There is plenty of swordplay, employing other medieval weaponry, and some nice creativity with the choreography of the fight scenes. All told there is much more to recommend "Tristan and Isolde" than to pass on it, and if younger viewers are inspired to check out some of the other versions and to contemplate how such differences come about and what they might mean, that would be a good thing as well.
between a Soldier and a Princess their Love is forbidden, I saw this Movie many years
ago and when I had the chance to Purchase it on Amazon, I added it to my Collection.
It has lot's of Action and terrific performances, it will not disappoint you can even ask
your Boyfriend or Husband to cuddled up on the Couch with you to watch it. I highly
recommend this Film.