STANDARDIZED MOVIE EVALUATION
(comments may contain spoilers)
I. CONTENT (out of 3 stars plus bonus, composite of sub-criteria bellow): --->2.5<---
i. PHILOSOPHICAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPTH (out of 2 stars, where very shallow = 0; shallow = 0.25 or 0.5; somewhat deep = 0.75 or 1.0; deep = 1.25 or 1.5; very deep = 1.75 or 2.0)
---> 1.5 <---
Although the movie is in many aspects a clinched classical romantic adventure about an idealistic hero and a beautiful lady who overcome extreme obstacles to reach their destination. The movie brings many moments of originality and depth into it.
Like the propensity of people in great distress to look for a scapegoat whom to blame for their misery. Thus the whole town will chase our hero to lynch him for "poisoning the wells and causing cholera", as they lynched many other innocent outsiders (like Jews) before. The chase stops when they encountered another outsider, the villain who was trying to assassinate our hero, and after catching and lynching him the town disperses with satisfaction of caring out the "justice".
Another originality is to show gentle side of a macho hero, like pampering a cat or writing incessantly to once mother. The hero might have befriended the cat to show his solidarity to the feline's misunderstood condition in the ignorant society. Both our hero and many cats throughout the history were groundlessly accused of causing the plague and other serious epidemics and condemned to lynching.
Of course those people were ignorant of modern science and medicine. Still even then, some things worked, like disinfecting oneself after touching the ill person, or even rubbing alcohol intensely unto the ill person to increase blood flow and give ,at least a remote chance, for immune system to fight the pathogens. Other things like praying and sanctifying clearly didn't worked.
Had people not been emerged into irrationality of religion, they would've discover sooner or later that people who rub alcohol after touching ill person are less likely to get infected then those who rub themselves with "holy water" or "holy fumes" or pray. But of course the dictates of a priest were often held in greater regards than dictates of a physician. And I mean here a genuine physician like the one earlier depicted in the film who teaches the hero a valid if not very reliable method of treating and preventing cholera.
Charlatan later encountered by our hero who sells placebo to profit, is not any better than a priest who request a fee for his useless services. Interestingly, how the charlatan claims that the only medicine that is paid for works. This charlatan resembles modern day "healers" who sell their useless medicine and services claiming that it works only on the people who aren't skeptical about them.
I love that French movies, in contrast to American movies, include , even if briefly and subtly, a disdain for religion and irrationality. And thus I would give the movie one bonus star for "exposing quackery", when it's often fashionable and politically correct for the Hollywood to embrace irrational new ageist-alternative medicine- religious nonsense, for a total of 5 stars
ii. SCREENPLAY ORIGINALITY (out of 1 star, where very banal = 0; banal = 0.25; somewhat original = 0.5; original = 0.75; very original = 1.0):
The movie is fairly original.
+ BONUS FOR CONTAINING CONTROVERSIAL & UNPOPULAR TOPICS (up to 0.5 star, where controversial topics = 0.25; unpopular and taboo topics = 0.5)
0.25 for debunking religion and charlatans.
II. PRODUCTION (out of 2 stars plus bonus, composite of sub-criteria bellow):
iii. ACTING (out of 1 star, where very ineffective = 0; ineffective = 0.25; somewhat effective = 0.5; effective = 0.75; very effective = 1.0):
---> 0.75 <---
Acting is effectively intense..
iv. PRESENTATION (out of 1 star, where very ineffective = 0; ineffective = 0.25; somewhat effective = 0.5; effective = 0.75; very effective = 1.0):
---> 1.0 <---
Presentation is extraordinarily intense and beautiful.
+ BONUS FOR PRODUCING ON LOW BUDGET (up to 0.5 stars, where up to one million dollars budget = 0.25; up to half a million dollars budget = 0.5)
TOTAL STAR RATING:
GRADE & RECOMMENDATION (above 5.0 = A+," Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 5.0 & 4.75 = A," Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 4.5 = A-, " Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 4.25 = B+, "Good Movie, Recommend"; 4.0 & 3.75 = B, "Good Movie, Recommend"; 3.5 = B - "Good Movie, Recommend"; 3.25 = = C+, "Fair Movie" ; 3.0 & 2.75 = C, "Fair Movie"; 2.5 = C-, "Fair Movie"; 2.25 = D+, "Poor Movie"; 2.0 & 1.75 = D, "Poor Movie"; 1.5 = D-, "Poor Movie"; bellow 1.5 = F, "Very Poor Movie") :
--->B+, "Good Movie, Recommend" <---
BALANCED MPAA RATING (not biased in favor of violence and against sexuality, where G = no violence, no sexuality; PG = OK slight violence, OK slight sexuality; PG-13 = OK moderate violence, OK moderate sexuality; R = OK explicit violence, OK explicit sexuality; NC-17 = OK extreme violence, OK extreme sexuality)
--->PG-13 for moderate violence<---