Beowulf Movie Critic Do you envision a strong female role or a male role as your hero? In my opinion the Beowulf movie was a thumbs up, due to Angelina Jolie’s use of seduction and female wiles. Angelina is a critical character who drives the plot. In the movie, her character of Grendel’s mother overshadows Beowulf‘s character as a hero.
This is in drastic contrast to the original poem ‘Beowulf’ because in the original, women were not valued and they had no important role. Grendel’s mother differs from the original, in three aspects; character, plot and theme.
The difference between the characters from the original Beowulf poem to the movie is vast. Grendel’s mother in the movie was beautiful, for example ‘Beowulf’ Movie Review says, “The link between the early battles of a young hero and his fatal confrontation with the dragon as an aging king is his temptation by the monster’s mother who dangles wealth, power and sexual favors before his bedazzled eyes,” the writer reminds us of the beauty she portrays. In the poem readers are led to believe she looks monstrous; it is said that the warriors from Herot thought she looked like Grendel and also Beowulf is not one bit attracted to her.
In the poem Grendel’s mother is a violent being who creates conflicts to avenge her son; she eats people and kills many of Hrothgar’s men. In the movie Angelina Jolie lures Beowulf with her sexuality and beauty; her strategy is seduction, as for in the poem Grendel’s mother is a monster who attacks Beowulf and drags him into the cave where they engage in combat; her strategy is direct attack. In my opinion the movie Beowulf was successful, whereas the poem was not. The role played as Grendel’s mother was more thought out.
Her strategy was a wise one because not only did she live, but she is free to lure more men into her cave, where she will pursue to seduce and sin. Grendel’s mother changes the plot from beginning to end. If she had never seduced the king in the movie, then there would have never been the character Grendel. Without Grendel, Beowulf would have no reason to travel to Denmark on behalf of King Hrothgar’s request. King Hrothgar was sick and tired of Grendel savaging at night; he surmised Beowulf would save his kingdom.
Grendel’s mother creates all conflict, for example she allures Beowulf knowing that lust was his weakness; where in the original ‘Beowulf’ she is an ugly lake monster with dragon claws, a long snout, yellow feathers, red eyes, a pale face and since Beowulf is not attracted, he defeats her. In the movie Grendel’s mother gives birth to a dragon, but this monster is also son of Beowulf. The plot was changed once again because in the poem the dragon was not Beowulf’s son and if it weren’t for Grendel’s mother’s promise to Beowulf, he would have not become king of Herot and would have not fallen in love with the queen.
He chose to kill his evil son to save his love, the queen and his mistress. In the movie every victory was glorious. Each battle won is sung and celebrated. People remember you from your battles. In ‘Beowulf’ the poem, the theme is complete opposite. Christian element is used; battle is bad, and one was not known for battles, but how honest and faithful you were throughout your life. Beowulf’s morals were very different in the movie, because he was not using the Christian element, but was deceitful and unfaithful; for example, he lies about his battles and betrays the kingdom by fornicating with Grendel’s mother.
Whereas in the poem he never did such thing. Contrary to the original Beowulf, the new film wants us to understand and humanize our monster. The changes of theme from story to movie give Beowulf a more modern feel. The movie was a real life depiction of the poem, which was a fantasy. In real life there is reality like sin. The movie is like a metaphor to the poem; we picture Grendel’s mother as an ugly creature, but she was not ugly; she was a monster within but not on the outside. ?