21/10/2007

STARDUST (a review - )



Stardust is a comprehensively enjoyable old fashioned fantasy that manages to please adults as well as kids. This reviewer was warmed internally when the film managed to grab the attention in the same way that films like the Princess Bride, and Shrek have done so previously. It has been a long time since I felt escapism and reassurance in the knowledge of happy endings and myth, that the best films in this genre can give you, within their first ten minutes. The kids will love the hammy acting and the special effects, and the more mature will enjoy the great story and unadulterated silliness of a ripping yarn.
The film’s success owns to a certain extent to it’s stars but more so to the excellent adaptation of a Neil Gaiman story in the fine hands of Mathew Vaughan as director, and co-writer with Mrs Ross herself, flame haired Jane Goldman.
There are some great performances from the main cast, as well as some excellent cameos from a host of British actors. When the narrator is Ian McKellan, and some of Britain’s finest are in cameos , then you have to enjoy the ride.
So the plot centres on our hero Tristan who comes from a village called "Wall" that sits next to a magical kingdom populated by Ghosts, Witches, and all the creatures you would expect in a fantasy film. Tristan tries to woo an undeserving local beauty and the promise to catch her a falling star, starts the films quest. The film has a beautiful backdrop (proving The Scottish Isles rival the beauty of any New Zealand hobbit Hole) which helps to ground numerous characters who are only glimpsed, and deserve spin off films themselves.

If I were to be picky, (and it is very very unfair with this type of film) I could say that Claire Danes is typical but eye-catching and na├»ve as her character demands. Robert De Niro plays in and out of type, looking like he could spend a winter season in pantomime. Even our hero portrayed by relative newcomer Charlie Cox, doesn’t have much to make the character his own, yet is amiable and likable.
Michelle Pfeiffer steals the show, showing grace and beauty as she ages wonderfully, and capturing suitable evil with aplomb when needed.

Overall this is a great film and I hope it does well, go and see this old fashioned tale in the cinema and try to remember why these fables work so well when told well by a director and scriptwriter who understand the genre they are working in. Very good fun ..If your not too sure, have a look below and see what you think.


You can also buy the book here

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