Robin Hood (2010) by Ridley Scott
Well, I am in Berlin (at the moment) and I promised myself not to go to the movies… and then I did it anyway. Sometimes it’s a little bit shocking how easily I am forgiven when I break a promise to myself – at least those who include watching or not watching movies.
Anywho, I watched Robin Hood, a movie I was not in the least curious about when I first saw the trailer. Then they said “by Ridley Scott, the director of ‘Gladiator'” and I chanted at the screen: “Alien. The director of Alien. Whoever saw Gladiotor? I certainly didn’t…” Well, I guess I am a tiny bit obsessed when it comes to Alien. Especially since a fifth is in the making (without Ripley? Are you guys serious?) Word has it that it will be in 3D although Scott is not convinced by it (neither am I, I might add). Why do it then?
Okay, back to Robin Hood. It is a good movie. Solid. An old story told differently. Enlightening in some ways, demystefying in others – especially when Lady Marianne reveals that she was no maid when she married Loxley – who is not the real Robin Hood…
It’s all very shocking. Eleanor of Aquitaine is still alive (mother of Richard and John and six more) and well and is treating John like the scum he is, mainly. Richard is little better than his brother, searching for lost glory in Jerusalem and getting himself killed on his pillaging way back to England (by a French cook, nonetheless). His crown is sent to England with his guard and their leader: Robert of Loxley. He dies too but before he does he gives his sword to one Robin Longstride and tells him to bring the sword to his father. Robin does and is adopted by the blind Walter of Loxley… seems Lady Marianne (Loxley junior’s wife) is part of the deal – or maybe she falls in love with him (if it pleases Hollywood!). Englishmen get killed because John trusted the wrong man and then the French king sails over to invade… but, alas, Robin of the Hood has finally brought the barons of England under one banner again (for a promise of King John to give everybody more rights) and beats the Frenchmen. Happy ending? Oh, contraire, John breaks his word and is from now on the stupidest King John in Hollywood history – but who cares since Robin and Marianne and their friends have abondoned the windy castle walls and live now in a forest – what was its name again?
I like the new movie although I must confess I am a sucker for the 1938 movie with Errol Flynn (there is a scene where one can see striped boxers through green tights – it’s a classic). Russell Crowe doesn’t wear tights, of course, which is good (I wouldn’t want to see him wearing them, I am sure you wouldn’t either). Lady Marianne is an absolut improvement, too, she is feisty, witty, strong and hot, a true feminist. And Cate gives her more than the literary figure bargained for, I am telling you.
Ridley Scott fortunately makes for great femals characters. I don’t think it is a coincidence that he put Eleanor in his movie (although a Hepburn-fan like me gets a little sentimental seeing her portraid by somebody else even though the job was well done by Eileen Atkins). Even John’s girlfriend turning queen is a strong female character. And then there is Marianne, cocking bows, swinging swords, and mainly being what women in those times should have been but probably weren’t. And she kills the man who is trying to rape her, for a change… (if we keep this up we might never again have to endure another scene that even indicates rape… wouldn’t that be great? it wouldn’t be historically correct but it would still be great!)
I liked the movie. It wasn’t the best ever but the story is new, the characters evolved, the setting stunning, and though I will never again be a fan of Russell Crowe he is capable… and has a great voice (remember: in Germany movies are dubbed and I have never watched one with Crowe in English.)