Review by Elliott
A philosopher once asked, “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them
because we are human?” Pointless, really… “Do the stars gaze back?” Now *that’s* a question.
If you were to take a bit of epic cinematography from Lord of the Rings, the quirky humor from Princess Bride, and the evil witch from Chronicles of Narnia, then throw in a little bit of everything that is fantasy, then you would get Stardust. Based off Neil Gaiman‘s novel of the same title, Stardust takes you to a world so close that you only have to jump over a stone fence to get there. I’ve not read the book, so I can’t speak to the faithfulness of the movie to the book, but Matthew Vaughn the director was personally selected to create this film by Gaiman himself.
Charlie Cox plays the main protagonist Tristan and is joined by a host of excellent actors and actresses. If you follow Marvel news at all, you’ll also recognize that Charlie plays Daredevil in the newly release Netflix series. Mentioning Netflix, this has been in my queue to watch for a long time. With a little encouragement from my fellow bloggers, I finally took the time to sit down and watch it this week and it was well worth it.
Ian McKellen as the Narrator
Charlie Cox as Tristan Thorn
Mark Strong as Septimus
Claire Danes as Yvaine
Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia
Mark Williams as Billy
Robert De Niro as Captain Shakespeare
Peter O’Toole as King
- The lead character’s name was shortened from the book’s Tristran, with an “r” between the “t” and “a”, to Tristan because Tristran was hard to pronounce quickly. However there is one time it is said as “TristRan” instead of “Tristan”. This is during the scene when Tristan remarks that Yvaine sometimes glows, when he suggests jokingly that the thing that Stars do best is to annoy boys called “TristRan Thorn”.
- In the original novel, the role of Lamia is actually a rather minor one. It wasn’t until Michelle Pfeiffer signed on to the project that the role was greatly expanded to become one of the main characters.
- The Princes’ names all refer back to their place in the family; Primus, the first born (Primary); Secundus, the second born; Tertius, the third (Tertiary) and so on in that fashion. Likewise, Una the Princess, is the first-born daughter. This tradition come from Latin, as some Romans called their children after the order of their birth, though usually as a nickname, only sometimes being a given name, especially with daughters.
I’m going to cheat a little with this review and use someone else’s synopsis of the plot. I certainly couldn’t have summed it up better myself.
The tiny English village of Wall has a secret. Through a gap in the town’s old stone wall lies the kingdom of Stormhold, a magical realm of spells, unicorns and witches. One day a boy named Tristan Thorn makes a bet with Victoria, the girl of his dreams, that he can bring her back a falling star that lands beyond the wall. So he journeys through the gap into the wall and into the other world, determined to bring back the fallen star in seven days and win Victoria’s hand in marriage. To his surprise, the star in question is not a lump of rock but a plucky celestial princess named Yvaine, who is not at all pleased to be knocked out of the sky and subsequently kidnapped. And a fallen star, it seems, is quite a commodity in Stormhold. Soon Tristan and Yvaine are running from flying pirates, warring princes, and three wicked witches who want to cut Yvaine’s heart out of her chest and eat it in order to restore their eternal youth. To win the bet, Tristan will have to hold his own in a dangerous game of swords and sorcery – but this new world has more surprises in store than he could ever have imagined… – Written by asdfghjkl (IMDB )
While being held captive by pirates, Tristan and Yvaine have the following conversation about love.
Yvaine: Tell me about Victoria, then.
Tristan: Well, she… she… There’s nothing more to tell you.
Yvaine: The little I know about love is that it’s unconditional. It’s not something you can buy.
Tristan: Hang on! This wasn’t about me buying her love. This was a way for me to prove to her how I felt.
Yvaine: Ah… And what’s she doing to prove how she feels about you?
Yvaine points out some well known truths about love, it’s not something you can buy and it’s not conditional. But then she ask about what Victoria has done to prove her feelings and that got me thinking about our relationship with God. Love needs to be proven/shown by both parties of a relationship. In this example, that truth, is very apparent and easy to understand. However, it isn’t always as easy in our own lives, particularly in our relationship with God. In sending His Son, God proved His love for us. We see that in the well know verse John 3:16 as well as Rom. 5:8 – “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” One way we show our love for God is through obedience. In John 14:15 it says – “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” and in Matt. 22:37-38 it says -“And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. ” Tristan was willing to go find a fallen star for Victoria, but she didn’t feel it necessary to prove anything to Tristan. So the question is, in your relationship with God, who do you take more after, Tristan or Victoria. On a daily basis do you try to prove your love for God?
This is a great movie. It’s not ground breaking by any means and at times it seems a bit campy, but that’s just part of its charm. There is quite a potpourri of fantasy “stuff”(sorry I could think of a better word). There are swords, magic, unicorns, airships, lightning in a bottle, pirates, witches, kings, and castles. Most importantly there is a love story. Very little in the movie should be taken seriously. The cast does a great job and appeared to have a lot of fun doing it. I always love it when someone unexpected is in a movie and that happened twice in this one. First the movie starts out with Ian McKellen(Gandalf/Magneto) narrating, which it took me a minute to figure out. Second was Mark Williams(Mr. Weasley from the Harry Potter Series) who has a minor role as a goat turned inn keeper. One area that I feel many movies do poorly is the dialogue between characters. That isn’t the case in Stardust. The dialogue was interesting, witty and and often times quite humorous. Some of my favorite scenes were that of the princes of Stormhold, which I haven’t mentioned until now, but were quite hilarious. If you’ve never seen Stardust then I would highly recommend it. Especially if you enjoy fantasy or adventure stories with lots of light-hearted fun. Thanks Logan and Amber for recommending this movie!