3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beowulf-A Hero comes home.....,
This review is from: Beowulf (Director's Cut) (2 DVD) [DVD] (DVD)
Having just read the poem for a module at Uni I thought I should watch the film.....it is a good representation of the epic Anglo-Saxon tale but I do have a few qualms with it. But overall I did enjoy the film and in the future I may purchase a copy.
The CGI is incredible and makes the fight scenes spectacular, I would recommend it alone to watch it for the visuals. But one of the best bits was Crispin Glover's Grendel: it was a beautiful performance as the tortured monster (I have always felt sorry for Grendel), what made it even better was the fact he spoke only in Old English thus harking back to the origins of poem; the film does allow the spirit of Old English Heroic literature to shine through. Historically, I liked it as it depicts the struggle between Christianity and the Norse Gods and what life was like in Scandinavia at the time. The end song is exquisite and I love it and reflects the tale: always a hero will always comes home.
However I would unequivocally would say the scenes of mutilation in Heorot and the nudity is too graphic for a 12. The cast were good although I felt Ray Winstone was out of place for the eponymous hero, yes Beowulf and Hrothgar would have different accents but Winstone's cockney accent shone through too much for me for him to be a believable Geat. Also the way Grendel's mother was portrayed didn't agree with me as she was over sexulised, a move I feel was done for modern audiences. But the biggest qualm I had is the change to the story concerning Beowulf's kingship: he was never crowned king of the Shieldlings (Hrothgar's people)he instead took over his uncle's kingdom and fought the dragon on his own shores.
But overall it is greatly indicative of the Anglo-Saxon age and a great fantasy/action film to be greatly enjoyed despite it's short-comings. I would recommend seeing it especially if you have a love for adventure and Norse literature, although it is NOT a children's film as like the original tale is very dark. But despite that the film does tell the legend of Beowulf, Grendel, his mother and the dragon and tells it rather well.