Thursday, June 03, 2004

DVD Review - The odyssey (1997)

If you're looking for a good, true-to-homer Greek epic adventure, this should definitely on the top of your wishlist. The Odyssey's story revolves around the very human hero Odyseus and of his wife Penelope in their quest to be reunited. The film is quite true to the original Odyssey storyline, but I like the particular perspective from which it was made.

Whereas Homer painted the picture of Odysseus battling creatures greater than him and surviving on wit, cunning and extraordinary bravado, the film focuses on the drama behind it. Yes, there is the cyclops, the scylia, the excursion to the underworld and other harrowing adventures, they take a backseat to the human dillemma of our hero.

He seems to have a penchant for getting himself into tempting scenarios such as a tryst with Circe, the buxom goddess who kept him and his entire crew in ecstatic bliss for 5 years and the sexy goddess Calypso (Vanessa Williams) and her island of scantily clad sexy nymphets who kept him, of course against his will, in their island paradise.

In a sense, even if Odysseus does give in to his desires, he really cant be faulted. He is after all, just a man, and they really are irresistable goddesses, but the film makes sure we realize what kind of agony he keeps going through.

His wife, on the other hand is dodging wave after wave of lecherous suitors and delaying the inevitable act of remarrying and the movie gives a particular focus on Penelope's dillemma. By the time Odysseus gets back and slaughters each and every one of them, you would be cheering him on.

Overall, i think Francis Coppola did the right thing on focusing on the human side of the Odyssey, but could have tapered down on some sickeningly lousy action sequences (like Telemachus using a double-spear launching attack and impaling two of his mothers suitors at once) But given the budget constraints of the film and its positioning as an educational material, i'd say it was a pretty good film.

Special effects : 7/10
Overall Acting : 8/10
Storyline : 9/10
Babe Rating : 10/10 (Damn hot goddesses)
Bloodshed : 8/10
Overall : 8/10

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