Customer Review

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 21 Jan 2009
This review is from: Beowulf [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a delightful retelling of the Anglo-Saxon tale, which is set in Denmark and Sweden, and contains nothing English whatsoever, using animated graphics; half narrated, half enacted with the spoken voices of several well-known British actors, including Derek Jacobi and Joseph Fiennes. Quite short, at 27 minutes, it is infinitely more true to the original than the recent productions by Zemeckis and Sturluson. There are no silly interpolated extra characters, sub-plots, or post-modern interpretations of the story's "meaning". The monsters are traditional, shapeless, scary and mysterious. The mead-hall is splendid and magnificent. Beowulf is noble, brave and gentle. All aspects are left unexplained: things just happen and the viewer is free to read whatever interpretation he feels like into the events. Consequently it is really more intellectually stimulating than the big-budget films. Although it is violent, there is nothing distasteful about any of it, and should be suitable for older children as well as adults. I was left wishing it had been longer.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Oct 2011 21:21:37 BDT
Sarah says:
"which is set in Denmark and Sweden, and contains nothing English whatsoever"

The Anglo-Saxons came to Britain from Northern Germany and Denmark, thus they would have seen themselves as close kin to the Geats. Beowulf, while being set in Denmark and Sweden, was penned in the Old English language by English hands and is an important reflection of the warrior culture, mythology and values of the early English tribes and their continental Germanic kin. It is VERY English.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2012 21:49:53 BDT
Joe Bloggs says:
Excellent comment, Sarah. Why do English people have such an ignorance regarding the origins of their own people, culture, heritage and history? Unfortunately the formative part of English history is ignored and denied by the media (the BBC are a prime example, using their historical poster boy Michael Wood to do their denying - look at his latest efforts). While the Welsh and Scots are allowed to celebrate their identity unheeded, the English are taught that they're British instead. Watch any TV show that happens to feature Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and they always put huge emphasis of their respective, unique cultures. If England is featured then you'll hear nothing but British this, British that. Rarely will you hear the words 'English' or 'England' mentioned - and if the BBC mention it at all then it will be in a purely civic sense, i.e. the usual one-size-fits-all identity. What absolute twaddle. English people need to wake up to the fact that the media is full of Anglophobic lefties who use their influence to deny the English any kind of unique identity. Yes, English, your identity is under siege. So if you are English then say so - and leave all this British twaddle to those too stupid to realise that they're English.

Posted on 26 Dec 2012 15:08:59 GMT
What a silly comment by Sarah, who says: "The Anglo-Saxons came to Britain from Northern Germany and Denmark, thus they would have seen themselves as close kin to the Geats. Beowulf, while being set in Denmark and Sweden, was penned in the Old English language by English hands and is an important reflection of the warrior culture, mythology and values of the early English tribes and their continental Germanic kin. It is VERY English."

For a start, the Geats were a tribe hailing from West Sweden. Beowulf is 100% Geat, and the entire narrative of the poem concerns his doings in Denmark and Sweden, with a brief mention of an exploit off Frisia. These people did not become "English", or, more properly, Anglo-Saxons, until they arrived in the British Isles, from circa 400 AD onwards. It is silly to contend that this poem is about "English" people, when it is totally about Scandinavian people. I don't suppose you would argue that Shakespeare's plays are about American people ? By your reasoning, his works would be VERY American ! Joe Bloggs is also talking through his hat. Nobody is denying the English their identity, in any way whatsoever.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2013 11:06:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Sep 2013 11:07:13 BDT
Huscarl says:
Total rubbish Mr Blockhead.
The very word 'English' predates 'Anglo Saxon' by many hundreds of years. The Scandanivian tribes were part of the mass movement of Germanic settlers, that is why they were telling this great story in English meadhalls hundreds of years later. It was a part of them as it is a part of us today, hence it's continuing popularity. Read up on the period before commenting please.
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