Monday, August 13, 2007

Stardust: Movie review



Stardust is another patriarchal fairytale that has not strayed from the standard recipe of a Hollywood magic fantasy drama. Although the movie is based on a book, the plot is rather sloppy. I am afraid J.K.R.’s stories have made movie goers like me expect a little more from the world of magic in general. So even though the special effects were great and the movie had some fun laughs I found the movie underwhelming. There is no complexity to the characters or the plot. Things happen just so that the plot moves along and most of the times it doesn’t make any sense, even in the magical kingdom where the writer is only limited by his imagination. The only saving grace for the movie is the humor which is very reminiscent of the Pirates movies.

The main plot is about lovers and finding love (ugh!). So you should be prepared for a fair amount of lovey dovey stuff piled onto more mush. When I say that the mush quotient is pretty high, I kid you not. There are lines like, “For you my love I would do anything. I would go to the end of the earth and pluck out some stars for you.”

The plot (that never thickens):
Once upon a time there lived a horny young man who wasn’t getting any action in the human world and so decided to try his luck in the magical kingdom which happened to be in the forbidden area across a wall. The man manages to sneak into the magical kingdom and starts checking out the streets of the magic kingdom for prospective mates. As luck would have it, he meets a super horny princess who is chained to a trailer which is in the middle of the busy market. What is a horny princess doing in the middle of a market soliciting strange men? A witch has enslaved the princess with her magic powers and so the princess is bound to the witch's trailer. (Cue: gasp!). But that still does not explain the horniness. Is she under a horny spell? Nope. Hey, women have needs too you know.

Anyhow, since the princess is bound to the trailer, the first order of business would be to rescue her. Nyoooo! There is no time. Well a quick quickie if you insist. Into the trailer they go and nobody comes a knocking when the trailer is rocking. It is wham bam thank you ma'm. The man returns to the human world and forgets about the whole thing. Alas, nine months later he finds a baby at the doorstep. The new daddy takes the news of his fatherhood pretty well by the commitment-phobic-movie-dad standards. He does not even get a paternity test. But that is not as strange as the fact that he does not ever try to get in touch with the woman who bore his son. Maybe they didn't have much in common, other than the son. At this point it is best you lay your questioning mind to rest if you want to enjoy the movie.

The rest that follows is the same old rehash of fairytales. There are two types of women, the smart hence ugly witches. Okay, Michelle Pfeiffer plays a witch, so they aren't all ugly. But all the independent women are evil witches. The other women fall in the category of damsels in distress. The men are busy killing each other when they are not romancing the women...except Robert De Niro who is a closet cross-dresser. Then there is the matter of saving the life of a fallen star (who morphs into Claire Danes on earth) before the witches or power hungry men get to her.

In the end, good conquers evil and the good guys live happily ever after...oops gave away the ending. But you knew that since the story began with once upon a time.

Rating: Blah with some giggles

13 comments:

Drunken Master said...

Did you see The Bourne Ultimatum? If you thought the first two Bourne's weren't bad, this one will just blow you away!

I wasn't too sure about this movie in the first place, given that the last time I saw DeNiro in a similar movie (Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle) it was atrocious beyond belief (loved the cartoons btw).

Given your review, this is going to make for an amazing porno spoof, horny princess and all!

Rebecca said...

You're such an un-romantic scrooge! I just cut out of work to see this very movie today. I was struck by the overt patriarchal tone, but I chose to suspend my feminism to enjoy the movie, which I did. I heard a review of this movie that compared it to "The Princess Bride" so I went into it with that in mind, and I definitely saw the similarities. And I agree that the humor made the movie much more enjoyable than if it had just been a straight fantasy/romantic flick.

I know I probably shouldn't have, but I really liked this movie! I agree with pretty much all of your criticisms, but I didn't take it too seriously. I'm not much of a movie buff though, I'm MUCH more critical of books. I kind of go into movies with the idea of turning my brain off and being entertained.

Hope you like the next movie better!

Fleiger said...

I have been meaning to ask you for a bit now, why the long face?

Anyways, I would tell you that the reason the Princess cannot be rescued is that the chain is only removable by the person who put it on or when the conditions of the capture are fulfilled. And the Princess (or rather, the daughter of Lord) seduces the man with magic...

But then, I think it is better to point you to my review of the book:

http://lazyhabits.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/stardust-neil-gaiman

Crystal blur said...

drunken master,
yup, bourne was lots of fun...especially the fight scene with the other assasin in the house. Haven't watched Rocky and Bullwinkle...worth watching on DVD?

Becky,
Haha! I guess I am an unromantic scrooge. I don't care much for romantic stories. In school, I was the only girl who didn't read Mills and Boons :)

May be my expectation for this movie was a bit too high. I watched Bridge to Terebithia (which was awesome) the night b4 I watched Stardust. Also after Shrek I thought nobody is going to make movies which have the stereotypical "knight in shining armor to the rescue in quest for love" sort of story line. But turning your brain off when you went for the movie was a good strategy :). I will remember that next time.

fleiger,
>>And the Princess (or rather, the daughter of Lord) seduces the man with magic...

Oh I am pretty sure the man tempted the princess with a magic wand. Let's just leave it at two consenting adults getting jiggy with it. Nothing wrong with that. But the least he could've done is checked on her (at least once) after the night of bowchikawowow. What an ass!

>>I think it is better to point you to my review of the book

I am not doing homework in the hopes of better appreciating a fairytale :p

Drunken Master said...

Rocky and Bullwinkle isn't worth watching even if you were paid to. Well, actually that depends how much money you are offered, but no - it's pretty darn sad.

Virinder Urf Funda-Mentor said...

Hey crystall... hahahah that was come horny oops funny stuff... just editing ur Post on Movie review blog to INCLUDE ur blogs URL.. do keep it as the first line on that blog, so that people are diverted to ur lovely blog.

Thanks,
Virinder

Fleiger said...

My point exactly: why the long face for so long?

And since you compared the movie/book to Harry Potter, do you want to tell me that you didn't read HP before watching movies or that it was "homework"?

If you don't read (or at least scan) the book before watching (or trashing) the movie, you leave yourself open to criticism like this.

And do you seriously want to tell me that people who don't know what Mahabharat is are enjoying your series same as people who at least know the story?

Crystal blur said...

fleiger,
To enjoy a spoof you have to know the original work. So yes, to enjoy MB series you need to be familiar with Mahabharat. However, Stardust was not a spoof on the book.

I didn't write a book review based on the movie. It is fair to critic a movie after watching it. Whether I might enjoy the movie more if I choose to read the book is an entirely different issue altogether.

Fleiger said...

Stardust is not a spoof, but surely it is movie adaptation of the book as you mentioned.

It is fair to critic a movie, but it is not fair to critic a story (without reading it) and compare it to another book (HP in this case). And I think almost the whole first paragraph does just that...

Crystal blur said...

fleiger,
There is one line in the first paragraph that mentions JKR. I have not compared the writing skills of the two authors nor their work. All I said was that my expectation (creativity wise) was set higher as I have been reading JKR. My major complaints about the plot are that it is limited in creativity, the characters lack complexity, there are several loose ends and that it is a stereotypical patriarchal plot.

mandeepsg said...

I am watching it anyways.......

Crystal blur said...

mandeepsg,
I find that if you set the right expectations for a movie then the movie is enjoyable. Have fun at the movies. :)

pi-pu-xi-xu said...

I hate to nitpick, but you either "criticise a book/film/work of art/whatcamacallit" or you "critique" it. a "critic" is someone who does one of the above. "critic a book/film/filluptheblank" is just nails on blackboard.