There are few points to this film:
1.- Historically accurate shows the last glories and the begining of the end of the Spanish empire, the conflict between religion and goverment, between rich and poor, love and relationship problems, between Spain and the other countries, war techniques of the XVII century the techniques of the "tercios" (third of legion): the perfect combination of attack with the "mangas" of fusilers and defence with the "picas" which was the spanish killing machine for centuries.
2.- Beautiful description of the XVII century Spanish lost I am afraid in the translation, each comrade speaks with his own town or region ' s accent and fantastic use of the phrases and words. The dialogues of the theatre are fabulous and the soldiers in the taberns.
3.- Beautiful scenes, you can see why this film is art.
Negative points in my view:
1.- Too much subject for a single film, difficult to understand what's going on if you see it once only. Maybe two films for the subject would be right? maybe this idea of two films is too commercial and or from Hollywood?
2.- It is a pitty did not got the Goya award in Spain. I saw the Almodovar film and it was fine, but in my view this film was far more better and deserved the award.
Keep it doing to magnificent films please.