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March 20, 2006 | by  | in Film |
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Tristan + Isolde

There’s just something about tragic love stories that I find absolutely delicious. The harrowing tales of couples who find their only love, then are separated unjustly by death or some other horrible divide… Tristan + Isolde is no exception. This tale of love does sound cheesy, but if any of you have ever fallen in love, then had your heart ripped out and stomped on, you will identify with this film.

A story that pre-dates not only Romeo and Juliet, but Guinevere and Lancelot too, the original legend of Tristan and Isolde is hailed as the love story that inspired a spawn of imitations. Set in Medieval times, Tristan (James Franco) is adopted by noble leader Lord Marke (Rufus Sewell) after he is orphaned at the hands of the invading Irish. Tristan flourishes into a superior warrior and is favoured as the next leader of his clan. After a poisonous sword slashes Tristan, his lifeless body on his funeral pyre lands in Ireland where Irish princess Isolde (Sophia Myles) finds Tristan’s Adonis-like body strewn on the beach. As nobles from opposing allegiances, their love was just not meant to be.

This movie has some good battle-action, but don’t expect it to be a choreographed masterpiece. Tristan + Isolde is definitely powered by Franco’s fine performance as the dark, honourable Tristan, and this role half compensates for his disgrace at being involved with the trite Spiderman series. The written prologue at the beginning of the film did elicit giggles from my film buddy and I because it tried too hard to establish an epic beginning; the story itself is epic, not the movie. It’s certainly understandable that Tristan + Isolde isn’t doing to do too hot at the box office, but this movie is worth your $8.50 on a Tuesday night when the cycle of uni has begun and you want a dose of escapism.

Directed by Kevin Reynolds
Hoyts, Reading Cinemas

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