Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Book to Film Review: Stardust
About the film
Stardust, a fantasy film, was released in 2007. It is rated PG due to some fantasy violence and is 128 minutes long. The film is based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman. The script was written by Jane Goldman (Jonathan Ross's wife) and Matthew Vaughn and the narration is by Sir Ian McKellen. The film had a $70 million budget and went on to make over $135 million at the box office world wide.
In a town called Wall, (because of the huge wall spanning the length with a guard preventing anyone from crossing over) a young man is desperate for adventure and manages to get across the wall. He meets a woman that has been kidnapped by a witch and they manage to spend 1 night together. 9 months later, a baby boy is left on his doorstep.
18 years later, the baby is all grown up. Tristan has fallen deeply in love with Victoria, the town beauty. One night a star falls from the sky and he vows to bring it to her for her birthday, so long as she will marry him. The star fell on the other side of the wall but Tristan fails to get past the guard. His father gives Tristan the Babylon candle his mother left him as a baby, he decides to find his mother with the candle but as he lights the candle and it transports him to the crater where the star fell in Stormhold because he was thinking about that instead. Instead of what Tristan was expecting, the star is actually a woman.
Yvaine (the star) is beautiful and Tristan connects himself to Yvaine with the enchanted chain that his father gave him and promises to return her to the sky after taking her to Victoria first. As easy as this sounds, it doesn't turn out that way. Three old, haggared witches are also looking for Yvaine so they can cut out her heart and use it to keep their youth. As well as Mormo, Empusa and Lamia (the witches), the Princes of Stormhold are also looking for her because at the same time the star fell, he threw his ruby into the sky and it fused with Yvaine. The King states on his deathbed that 'he of Royal blood' who finds the ruby will succeed him.
On the way back to the wall, Tristan and Yvaine meet some interesting characters who both try to help and hinder their mission. Will the witches and the princes catch up with them, who will succeed the King, and will Tristan get his girl?
What I thought
Stardust has a fantastic mix of American and British actors and it just goes to show not all of the great films only come from America. Even though Claire Danes was great as Yvaine, and im glad the other two actors turned down the role, she wasn't my favourite. It was nice to see the main girl not be a typical damsel in distress and she showed her feisty side every chance she got.
Michelle Pheiffer was great as Lamia. I thought she played the crazed, youth hungry witch really well and as well as being quite serious in her role, she came across as very comical when things didnt go her way. The effects and make up were really imaginative and I loved seeing how Lamia changed every time she aged a little bit more.
I loved Robert De Niro's character, Captain Shakespere. He plays a great pirate with a secret and he had me laughing all of the way through his scenes. I'm glad the part went to De Niro instead of Jack Nicholson because the part was made for him.
As most of the film was filmed in many different locations around the UK, it has a great British feel to it, unlike some American films that try to get the British feel and atmosphere wrong. As well as being mainly shot in the UK, one of our biggest boy bands, Take That wrote the theme music 'Rule the world' after seeing a cut of the movie before it's release. The song went on to reach #2 in the charts and the band recently sang it at the Olympic closing ceremony.
Before watching this film, I thought I was going to hate it, thinking it was just a kids film. I was very wrong. Stardust is exciting, interesting and emotional. I even cried at one point. There is a fair bit of fantasy violence throughout and because of this it might not be suitable for young children but other than that, it is pretty much a family film. Although there is some romance in the film, it isn't over done so it isn't just a chick flick. I know quite a few guys that were suprised by this film and liked it more than they though.