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I really liked this one. I have rewatched it many times and still find it excelent story telling
Best seafaring film of the 21st century so far.
Watch it. Drink it in. Re-watch it. An excellent flick.
This is the first film I have seen since Stripes (1981) that manages to have an entertaining, glorious first half and a second half that completely drags and is ultimately forgettable. Barbra Streisand is undoubtedly the best part of this film as she outshines all who surround her but is also let down by a weak screenplay and a poorly paced film. I usually enjoy the work of William Wyler with The Heiress (1949) and The Little Foxes (1941) being among my favorites of his but here he doesn't seem to know what he is doing with this film as he spends too much time on details that are not interesting instead of providing us with more fabulous dance numbers. I would suggest that you watch the first 100 minutes of this film and then turn it off as the film begins to prioritize the romance over her career progression.
Unattractive but talented young performer Fanny Brice, Barbra Streisand, is desperate to become a part of the ‘Ziegfeld Follies' but flunks her audition attracting the ire of her bosses. She is later able to prove herself to be a talent with her humor and singing ability and is hired by the fearsome Florenz Ziegfeld, Walter Pidgeon, who she stands up to with the help of handsome gambler Nicky Arnstein, Omar Sharif. She strikes up a tentative romance with him following their meeting as her career skyrockets but he refuses to show commitment and will often disappear for long period of time with no explanation. The two eventually reunite and then quickly marry as she puts her career on hold to be with him. He becomes disgruntled with married life as he begins losing money while gambling and engaging in shady deals as his wife becomes successful as she returns to her career and financially supports them and their children. The two eventually break up when she realizes she is strong enough to stand on her own and does not need him for emotional support.
Streisand is giving a definitive movie star performance here as she radiates charisma from every pore, looks fabulous at all times and knocks you out with her singing and dancing. She is alive with passion in this film as she sells at every moment on the idea that Brice is a unique talent that would have been beloved both then and now. I had a great deal of fun with the scenes in which Streisand humorously roller skates around a stage while performing stand up and singing in addition to appreciating how Streisand carries herself in the few scenes with her mother. Despite how wonderful I think she is I would not have given either her or Katharine Hepburn the Academy Award for Best Actress but would have instead rewarded Joanne Woodward for her spellbinding performance in Rachel, Rachel (1968).
The rest of the film is difficult to praise as the story focuses on entirely the wrong aspects while enticing us with the sight of what could be interesting subplots. I found the tortured love story between Brice and Arnstein to be terrifically dull and tedious to watch as it extended the film beyond the tight 100 minutes it should have been and doesn't provide us with any real juicy drama. Part of this is how little Sharif brings to the role as he is completely outshone by his leading lady and we never understand why this dazzling woman would be so dependent on such a nothing character. What I wanted to see more of were the musical numbers as the ballet and the triumphant performance of "My Man" at the end of the film were sights to behold. I also wanted to see more of the delightfully witty Kay Medford who is a hoot as Brice's sassy mother Rose who can elicit laughter simply through saying the word "Ruffles" in a way that leaves you with no doubt as to what the double entendre means.
I am saddened that this film, which could have been great, loses itself so completely in it's second half and prevents itself from being as brilliant as Singin' in the Rain (1952) or The Sound of Music (1965). Still worth it for Streisand's performance and the exciting musical numbers but equally worth turning off after the film begins to lose it's way.
Apart from the acting of Paul Bettany which is poor this is the greatest naval film of all time. Even Bettany cannot dent the 5 stars given. Russell Crowe had nothing to fear from this script and should get the sequel he is asking for. Masterpiece of cinema.
Finally caught this movie. Brings to life all I've ever read about life on a British warship of the Nelson era. I love the authenticity of the ships, costumes & sets. The pacing was excellent. The characters rich, intriguing & well acted.
There is a lot to explore in O'Brain's novel, but Weir's procedure is probably not the way to command this ship.
Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World
Weir has an apologetic letter to post. His somber world turns shade a bit darker every time this troop tries to celebrate small wins. Hanging by the cliff, these character and the director, Peter Weir is surviving this trip on low fuel. But, first of all, I think I should apologize before he does. "It is not him, it is me". The pirate-isc world was never my forte. Even in The Pirates Of The Caribbean series, Johnny Depp had to invent one of the most iconic character to lure me in. I am usually under the "tough audience" section in these shows.
And since there is no Johnny Depp (although, half way through I genuinely was hoping for him to appear and just.. escape) or mythology involved in this drama- more than adventure, for sure- there is very little in their kit to entertain me. Nevertheless, there is a lot to devour in here. Of course, the brotherly romance between Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany is the top contender, where I'd be honest, I didn't see it coming how deep and honest this equation would go; them sharing few tunes alone in a room- not a euphemism- is possible the only calm and stable scene that clears your mind.
Another textbook issue that emerges is for our hero Crowe to realize and respect the value of the post he is on, and with few mistakes and losses and wins, he finally gets there, although I'd say he was about an hour late. The production design is stunning along with the cinematography, Miramax is definitely showing off and why not, the Oscars season is coming up, they'd definitely need some higher authority to swoop in couple of those golden tickets, and this time they chose, Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World.
Did the captain go too far and lose too many men? or was he just doing his job? solid film
The best epic movie ever made!
This is such a great movie, if for no other reason than for the fact that its on 18th century naval history. The film looks gorgeous and the storyline is interesting. Russell Crowe owns the role and Peter Weir is an assured director which shows in the way the film is presented. Weir is a veteran director whose films have always been characterized by their uncommon intelligence. He has been at the helm for the likes of Picnic at Hanging Rock, Witness, Dead Poets Society, Fearless, and The Truman Show. For Master and Commander, Weir has been given a huge budget (rumored to be in excess of $120 million), and every cent of it appears on screen. For those with any interest in 18th and 19th century seafaring or naval warfare, this is a must-see motion picture. For others, it's an enlightening and entertaining experience, but there's the issue of the slow middle act to overcome. The problem exists, but it isn't insurmountable, and that's the reason I'm recommending the film.