Saturday, December 04, 2004


Originally Posted On: 4th Dec 2004

In recent memory, a film by Oliver Stone will naturally attract controversy like bees to honey. Gone were the days when stories were simplier and shorter (Platoon), and nowadays 3 hour bio-epics are norm (JFK, Nixon).

Not that I disagree strongly with the protrayal of Alexander as bisexual - hey, men in those days married and had sex with females only for reproduction of heirs. But having such protrayals rammed down your senses scene after scene, tires you. You have Alexander showing zero interest amongst scantily clab women in tribes conquered (good?), but instead you have him gaze with lust upon nubile pubescent men, and kissing them, and embracing his lover Hephaistion, while exchanging sweet nothings each time they're together in a scene. I reckon if Oliver Stone had his way 100%, we'd see a sex scene or two between them too. But instead we get the obligatory one between Alexander and his Asian bride (oh yeah, it's a woman)

Blame it on Aristotle and his teachings on freedom of love.

What is missed most, I believe, amongst simple people like us, are the scenes of war. When one thinks of Alexander, one thinks of the conquests which he had (which made him The Great, no?). Sadly, this film only features two - one in Persia, and the other in India. Nicely film, with the blood and gore you'd come to expect after films like Gladiator - great costumes, weapons, decapitated limps by blades on chariot wheels, impaled bodies from spears, elephant trunks being cut off, you get the drift.

The rest of the time is spent on politicking, backstabbing, alcohol parties, and an ooh-lala mummy (Jolie rocks) sending notes and warnings and speaks funny. The purpose of these scenes to highlight the rot in his empire, could be brought out better if the pacing is tighter. But they ramble on and on.

Archilles Wannabe. Yeah. Son of Zeus, probably not.

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