Oct 14, 2007

[Movies] Stardust

StardustStardust is a film based on a graphic novel by Neil Gaiman set in the town of Wall, which rests upon the border of another world.

As is my way with such things, I do my best to weight the merits of the film as separate from the original book. With this particular movie, I suppose it's not that difficult since many liberties were taken to make Stardust an entertaining movie. Just keep in mind that the producers opted to leave the original story in certain ways to make it more effective as a film and to simply complain that this was not a "faithful" adaptation is just silly. Hollywood will always have its own rules, as always defined by our own ticket-buying habits.

As far as fantasy movies go, Stardust is a very entertaining piece (and I know I already said that) that does a pretty good job of balancing both adult and younger audiences given the nature of the piece. It feels a lot like a classic fairytale set to film while pushing things here and there for the benefit of older of audiences.

Like any good fairytale, the story is driven by its characters and certainly Gaiman's magical world of Stormhold has no shortage of interesting and diverse characters. It's not just about star power either (although the film has more then its fair share of Hollywood heavy-hitters making cameos) but just about how well-crafted the characters were. Many diverged from their original paths in the novel but still the core personalities had already been defined by a true artist of the pen.

Notable performances include Claire Danes, who did a stellar job as Yvaine (pun intended) and of course Michelle Pfeiffer did a great job portraying the role of a woman desperate to preserve her youth at any cost. No, I'm not trying to say anything.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about Robert De Niro's performance as Captain Shakespeare. Adding in the whole, um, metrosexual aspect to things was not originally part of the book so it was a rather new element for me. De Niro isn't entirely believable as a queer but it certainly is fun to watch.

The biggest addition to the movie not found in the book was the huge fight scene at the end, which was certainly fun to watch even if not 100% authentic to the original plot. Hey, if it makes for good movies, then who are we to complain, right?

Stardust remains to be a movie well worth seeing with friends, family or whatever. The core story is still there for fans of the original graphic novel while extra trimmings were added to make the film more appealing for a larger audience without seeming overly campy.

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