Tristan and Isolde


Tristan and Isolde

Tristan and Isolde
(2006)
Starring: James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell, David O’Hara, Mark Strong
Director: Terry Giliam
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled,
Widescreen, NTSC
Rated:
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: April 25, 2006
Run Time: 125 minutes


The romantic saga of “Tristan and Isolde” has been re-told several times, notably in the opera by Richard Wagner. It’s also been said to be Shakespeare’s inspiration for his “Romeo and Juliet” as well as for the Arthurian legend of Lancelot and Guinevere.

And so we come to the Kevin Reynolds’s film of this story and, despite Reynolds’s poor track record and poor rep even though he has had some genuine hits…”T&I” is good: not great but at best truthful and engaging and at worst…silly.

Tristan is played by a moody, pouty-lipped, can’t shake the James Dean connection, James Franco. And believe it or not all of the aforementioned traits help to make his character believable: no wimp this Tristan…he is also a brave, skilled warrior. Franco uses his innate vulnerability to balance the obvious and necessary machismo of this role.

The major find though is Sophia Myles as Isolde. Her Isolde is full of fire and intelligence and her very being on the screen is so filled with light that she is almost phosphorescent: she literally glows. She is a major talent along the same line as Lynne Collins in the recent “Merchant of Venice.”

There is a lot of warring and fueding and the requisite battle scenes are well choreographed and believable: Reynolds is nothing if not good with staging battle scenes.

“Tristan and Isolde” is very well made and for a story from the middle ages, surprisingly coherent and meaningful. But the main reason to see this film is for the incandescent, beautiful Isolde of Sophia Myles.


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