Film-Related & Film Reviews 2006

Alatriste - A Review


Print View

We don't have so many Spanish super-productions in the style of Alatriste so you find it difficult to compare them and decide whether this is the best one that has been released in years. Especially if compared with Tirant lo Blanc, Agusti­n Di­az Yanes' new film shines formidably, despite the dark colours which the scenes are illuminated with. How faithful a film is to the book that it's adapting must be judged, above all, by the novelist and his readers: from the pure cinematographic criticism, we can only comment on some aspects like the credibility of its imaginary plot, the characters starring in it, the great sense of adventure and some details that contribute to exalt this entertaining film. Di­az Yanes pays attention to the context in a clever way, recreating some social and moral aspects of that time and not telling a mere adventure story. But in this regard, he also does his work, with some entertaining fighting scenes and some exciting choreographies in order to meet the action parts. Alatriste connects with Errol Flynn's classic movies, The Three Musketeers or Robin Hood, keeping the spirit but adding some dark elements that make the whole periphery more real. One of the biggest surprises in the film is the competence and perfection with which Viggo Mortensen incarnates the main character. The actor is perfectly surrounded by a brilliant cast, an obviously complex range of detailed performances, from which it's difficult to choose the most talented. Alatriste is a perfect piece of entertainment: it fulfils the basic requirements of the genre, excelling in them in many aspects, it's credible and what's more, it even looks like a novel document about the complex time that it's depicting.

Rating ****
Last edited: 4 December 2006 15:53:01