Beowulf Movie Review Beowulf is a fantasy film with Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Brendan Gleeson,John Malkovich, Crispin Glover, Alison Lohman, and Angelina Jolie. The setting takes place between the 8th and the 11th century in Denmark and Sweden. It was written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary and directed by Robert Zemeckis. This film is an interpretation by the writers of an ancient poem with the same name. In 2007 it was released in the United Kingdom and United States and it caused many reactions, some were good and some were bad.
Beowulf is a legendary warrior who travels to Denmark in answer to the King Hrothgar’s request, to slay a monster called Grendel that has attacked the meal hall. Beowulf immediately becomes attracted to the king’s wife, Queen Wealtheow who does not love her husband and also becomes interested in him. In order to attract the monster back, Beowulf and his soldiers celebrate in the meal hall. Once Grendel comes back to attack everyone again, Beowulf notices that monster had hypersensitive hearing, which is why he interrupts Hrothgar’s celebrations.
Beowulf then tears Grendel’s arm off and as a reward the king gives him the golden drinking horn, which represents the time when he killed the dragon Fafnir. Grendel goes make to his cave and tells his mother what has been done to him, she then swears revenge. Once Beowulf finds out about Grendel’s mother and how she is the last Water Demon, he goes to the cave to kill her. She however offer’s him a deal, to make him the greatest king who ever lives if he gives her another son to replace Grendel and let her keep the golden horn. Beowulf gives in to her seduction and goes back to the kingdom claiming to have killed her.
The king realizes what was happening and names Beowulf his successor as the king before committing suicide. Years later, the golden horn is found by a slave and returned to the King, Beowulf. He goes to the cave to return the horn to Grendel’s mother; however she does not take it back, but instead releases the dragon to kill Beowulf’s kingdom. This film has many themes, but two that stand out are loyalty and reputation. Back then, around the time when this film takes place, loyalty plays a major role in the ways people lived their lives.
Soldiers were loyal to their kings, wives to their husbands and people to their promises. Beowulf along others with great power and high positions also cared a lot about their reputation. They were always focused on how people would see them and did everything to make sure they always maintain their great reputations. These two themes relate to issues of morality because in order to be loyal to someone or something, or to maintain a reputation, people would sometimes have to do things or become someone that goes against their principals and beliefs.
Just like in Beowulf, the characters in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” also deal with these issues. Macbeth for instance, kills the king and loses his identity in order to become king. Both characters in these stories are motivated by greed and desire for more power. This movie was inspired by the Old English epic poem called “Beowulf”. Filmmaking involves many characteristics and in order to create this film changes were made. The writes of this movie made a few changes to the story, to make sure all the gaps present in the poem were connected and made sense in the film.
Some of these changes were the portrayal of Grendel as a fragile child-like creature rather than savage demon monster, and the portrayal of Grendel’s mother as a beautiful seductress, who bears Grendel as Hrothgar’s child and the dragon as Beowulf’s child. Also, how Beowulf becomes ruler of Denmark instead of his native Geatland. These different interpretations of the poem and its changes were made to make sure a good film could be created from it and still tell the audience the same story.
The animation used was absolutely superb and almost fooled me to believe the characters were actual humans. The similarities between the characters and the actors and actresses that were playing them was incredible, showing how amazing it is what technology can do these days. Overall, the film Beowulf was very entertaining and well portrayed. Although the setting takes place in a completely different time from us today, I could still relate to the characters and learn from everything that happened. I feel like anyone who ever gets the opportunity to watch this film will also be able to.