Last Thursday, The Hobbit: Battle of the five armies premiered in the UK – and I went to the midnight screening!
If you have not yet had the chance to watch this movie, go do it now – for this review will contain spoilers (you can read them if you hover over the underlined words).
With this movie, a very long journey comes to an end. Not just the three-year journey of the Hobbit (for me it was three years, at least, from when I first heard they would bring it to the screen to this day), but also the 15-year long journey to Middle-earth on which Peter Jackson and his team embarked when they first started filming the Lord of the Rings in 1999. As far as we know today, there will be no further Tolkien movies.
So, I walked into the cinema with a mixture of anticipation, excitement, but also sadness – similar to the very last Harry Potter movie a few years ago. I have to say, the Hobbit did not disappoint. Lots and lots of action sequences that were absolutely breath-taking – Smaug, the elves, the dwarves. I watched it in 3D, which made it even better! In some movies the 3D effects seem forced and unnatural, but in this one, it all morphed together perfectly. Maybe it is because of the different filming technique?
However, there are also a lot of quiet moments. Moments of friendship, of sadness, of despair and decision making. For me, it was beautiful to watch how Bilbo transformed from the frightened and sort of clueless hobbit to a fiercely loyal defender of his friends, taking matters into his own hands . I also enjoyed Legolas’ development, understanding his motivation for breaking with his father. I always wondered in the Lord of the Rings, why he was on his own. Not it has become a lot more clear.
As with all the previous movies, this one also has some comedy aspects – some more subtle than others. Martin Freeman as Bilbo portrays most of these moments, e.g. facing Thranduil, but the character of Alfrid (counsellor of the Master of Laketown) also adds to the comical relief in the otherwise rather dark movie.
It is always a difficult task to tie in new movies with old movies, when the old movies are the new ones, story wise. One of the most prominent other franchise I can think of is Star Wars – and unfortunately, I know many fans who were not happy with the binding element, Episode III (actually, me included). Because if this, I was somehow cautious about how the last Hobbit would tie in with the Lord of the Rings, but I needn’t have worried. The love for detail and the filming team’s vast knowledge about the stories resulted in a lovely solution (in my opinion). There were hints about Lord of the Rings throughout the trilogy, e.g. Gimli as a drawing in Gloins amulet, and the very beginning where Frodo appears), and in the last movie, the hints were slightly more pronounced.. I especially loved one of the last scenes, where they took footage from LotR to link it with the Hobbit. I admit, I was in tears.
There was one thing I was rather confused about though, but some research cleared it all up.
In summary, this movie is a beautiful piece of art with lots of little details that I cannot wait to see when I rewatch it time and time again in the future. You can really feel the attention and love the team put into this. And the farewell song in the credits? Show me one fan that will not have some moisture in their eyes when listening to Billy Boyd (Pippin) saying goodbye to middle-earth.
One more thing that makes the new trilogy so fantastic: I am currently rewatching Lord of the Rings for a university assignment and while I was a bit bored the last time I watched the movies (because I had seen them so many times), this time I can actually see some little details and snippets that didn’t make sense before or I simply didn’t notice. So by knowing the Hobbit trilogy, it makes LotR worth watching again and I see it with different eyes.
I believe I have rambled on long enough. While I am sad that there will be no new movies, the fact that the old ones are now even more connected makes it all worth it. So all of you who are reading this, take some time off to travel to middle-earth. I shall do the same by watching the Two Towers while on the plane towards home for Christmas.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us” – Gandalf
Posts Tagged With: Movie
Last Thursday, The Hobbit: Battle of the five armies premiered in the UK – and I went to the midnight screening!
Here comes a brand-new movie review! Beware of spoilers (seriously)!
I had anticipated the new Hunger Games instalment for ages and yesterday it finally premiered in the UK. Mockingjay Part 1 has quite a different tonality than the previous two films – most significantly, it is no longer about the Hunger Games but about the revolution and rising civil war against the Capitol. The focus is on Katniss as a character (played by Jennifer Lawrence), illustrating how drastically the games and especially the loss of Peeta changed her. She struggles with nightmares and often questions her ability to keep fighting and to do what is necessary.
Her sister, Prim, gets some more attention in this movie, too. She has grown from being a helpless child to being a strong young woman training to become a doctor. I sometimes had the feeling that the relationship between the two sisters has become a lot more balanced. While in the first movie Katniss had to protect Prim from harm, they now protect each other – Prim is invaluable emotional support for Katniss in Mockingjay Part 1.
I loved the portrayal of Effie Trinket (mainly because Elizabeth Banks is just amazing). She sees herself as a prisoner of war and seems to have lost her spirit. But she gradually adapts to her new lifestyle, as can be seen through her increasingly more bold and fashionable outfits (though not colourful anymore, she wears a headband in various styles, using what she can to maintain her individuality). She becomes Katniss’s prep team, taking over Cinna’s job.
Finnick has also impressed me. He forms a bond with Katniss sharing the pain of losing a loved one to the Capitol and they help each other stay sane. I really enjoyed their friendship growing stronger and look forward to what comes next (I know of course, but I’m not gonna spoil this).
Peeta mostly appeared in television scenes, and although he didn’t have as much screen time, I felt he was always present and his deterioration was quite frightening. I personally felt that the connection he and Katniss have was stronger over the distance than the connection between Gale and Katniss, even though they are in the same place (I’m obviously on Team Peeta, but I heard there are some people out there on Team Gale 😉 ).
Some new characters have been introduced as well, President Coin for one and the camera team with Castor, Pollux, Messalla and Cressida (played by the lovely Natalie Dormer!) . I hope they will become even more important in the next movie.
The special effects and action scenes were well executed and thankfully not too pronounced in the movie. The focus was more on the propaganda and revolution and less on the action. While the overall tone was quite grim and emotionally draining, there were some sparks of humour, mostly coming from Effie Trinket.
In conclusion, this movie kept me perched on the edge of my seat, anticipating what would happen and being emotionally swept away – even though I already knew the story, it was still very exciting. I personally try to keep the novels and the movies apart from each other – since the movie version is completely different from my own imagined visions. My pictured version of the story is weirdly enough a lot lighter than the movies.
Anyways, I recommend the movie to everyone who has read the books because it gives a different view on things and of course also to people who enjoy dystopian, war, fantasy or sci-fi settings. The movie is rated as suitable for 12 years and older. I personally do not agree and would not let anybody younger than 14 see this. Not so much because of the action scenes but more because of the emotional trauma portrayed in most characters – Katniss, Finnick and Peeta especially. It takes a certain level of emotional maturity to understand everything that is going on in that story.
Also, as a side remark, I was very sad to hear that Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away during the filming. He played Plutarch Heavensbee – a relevant character whose story will have to change now. He was an amazing actor and will be remembered.
Apologies for not posting anything lately, but I have to write so many essays for uni that I don’t really have any energy left to write my blog.
Anyhow, lots of stuff happened since the movie review. I went to Berlin to attend a conference, saw fireworks in London and finally registered with a GP. I had planned to write a huge post about Berlin on itself, but since that is already over two weeks ago, I’ll just summarize that trip for you.
I travelled with my friend (and former study colleague) R. and we started out from my place on a nice Wednesday afternoon, not thinking about anything that could go wrong. However, when we arrived at the Coach station to catch a bus to the airport, I knew this trip would not go quite as smoothly as we thought. There were many people waiting and apparently had been waiting there for quite some time already. The coaches were all delayed and everybody was wondering whether they would make it in time for their flight. We managed to miraculously get on a coach only about 15 minutes later and started to relax a little. But oh no, more trouble was to come. We were unlucky enough to get stuck in a traffic jam because there had been an accident on the road ahead. We had been in the coach for an hour already and technically should arrive in about twenty minutes when I looked at my google maps app to check where we were. I was shocked. The app told me, we were still an hour from the airport!
I shouldn’t have looked. From that moment on I was convinced we would miss the flight. Of course we had calculated a bit of puffer time, but an hour delay? Nah, we didn’t have that big of a time cushion. So when we finally arrived at the airport at 6:12 (technically, the gate should close at 6:10) we ran to the check-in counter to get them to call at the gate and wait for us. The staff told us that we were too late and had missed the flight and that we could purchase new tickets for the next day.
But we thought “Hell, no!” and ran for security check anyways. No harm in trying, eh? Of course, I had to go through a very thorough security check, beeping all over and taking off shoes and belt. Duh. My friend got through without beeping and started running for the gate, me following on her heels as soon as I was properly clothed again. When we arrived at the gate (which said final call, not closed, btw!) we were completely winded and ready to drop dead. There was quite a long queue, so we asked the people which flight they were waiting for. Guess what – IT WAS OURS! IT HAD DELAY!
We were quite glad and happy and smug that we had actually made it and NOT believed the staff at check-in. However, the happiness quickly diminished when the flight departed with over an hour of delay. When we arrived in Berlin it was only about 35 minutes delay, so we must have flown very quickly, but it still meant that we had missed two of the three train options we had selected to get to our hotel. Then we had to wait for our little suitcase, which technically is hand luggage but was taken from us anyway.
I went ahead to get the tickets for the train, but unfortunately there was a French couple in front of me, unable to properly use the ticket automaton. If my French would have been good enough to help, I would have done so, but Je ne parle plus le francais. My friend ran past me to stop the train from leaving, but even though we STILL missed it!
At that point, as you all can well imagine, we were furious, exhausted and depressed and just wanted to get to that hotel. So in the end, we took a taxi (we were internally crying about the amount of money that cost us and debating whether we should have just travelled without tickets) which then finally brought us to our destination.
The hotel was very nice, we got our room cards and then – oh glory! – we were able to sleep in very comfortable beds. It was after midnight at that point. We had started in London at 3pm. We had anticipated this trip to take us about 5 hours – not almost 9.
The next day however was quite positive, the conference was interesting, the people friendly and our presentation went well. In the evening we enjoyed a gala event with champagne and butter-filled Brezeln. On Friday, we headed home again and this time everything went well – almost too well, since we had allowed enough time for anything to go wrong and we ended up having to wait at the gate quite a while because we were so early. But we didn’t mind.
Yep, so that was our little horrifying trip to Berlin. It’s not my favourite city in the world and I was happy to be back in London again. It was Halloween that day, by the way and I had planned to go to a party, but I was too exhausted so I ended up doing a Halloween movie night with my friend (watching Scary Movie and Twilight. Both horror movies, yep! 😉 ).
Then Saturday evening, I went to see fireworks at Alexandra Palace with the au pairs from my neighbourhood. One of them had her birthday on Sunday and we were celebrating into that by watching the fireworks. It was quite lovely. Unfortunately, I had to work on Sunday so we didn’t stay out long afterwards.
I also went to see a movie last weekend at the International Student House. They regularly show movies for free, though nothing that is currently showing in the cinema. I went with my friend R. and the Norwegian girl (H.) I have mentioned before to see Pompeji (also known as Pompe II 😉 ). Not because we liked the movie but because of Kit Harrington who also plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. If you have never heard about Pompeji, the story and especially the ending might come as a shock to you. But I remember reading quite a lot about Pompeji when I was younger so I knew what would happen and could simply enjoy the Hollywood story they made out of it.
I guess this is all for now, I’ll have to tackle the next essay now. And what a choice I have: Taylorism, a case study about Luton Airport or comparing income inequality in Germany and the UK. Yay!
After a few month, here comes another movie review! Last Thursday I went (rather spontaneously) to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and here’s what I think of it. BEWARE of Spoilers, there are some in there. So if you haven’t seen the movie and care about finding stuff out for yourself, don’t read this.
It is a ridiculously hilarious (or hilariously ridiculous) movie if you keep in mind that it is aimed at children/teenagers. The story itself is not that imaginative – young journalist whose father died in a science lab experiementing on turtles finds mutated vigilante turtles and teams up with them to save the world from a chemical contamination plotted by the bad guys who want to gain world domination. And obviously, they succeed.
While the main character April (played by Megan Fox) was not really impressive – and badly phone addicted yet incapable of taking good pictures of anything* – the turtles were awesome. Great animations, each character was well defined and distinctive. There’s the geek with all the technical know-how (Donnie), the two brooding warriors who both want to be the leader (Leo and Raphael), and the funny guy who always falls flat on his face and makes bad jokes (Michelangelo). Most of the humourous stuff came from “MC Mikey” which is probably why I liked him best.
* She tried to take a picture of a symbol on a wall, but you could clearly see the front camera turned on. So she basically took a selfie, yet the next day she has the symbol printed out. They must have tired of filming her taking pictures until she got it right…
The turtles have been trained by a mutated rat with rather dubious methods (and yes, that’s a slice of pizza!):
Anyhow. In this movie, they face the ultimate evil adversary – the Shredder. *drumroll*
The Shredder has a rather unfortunate ancestry. Imagine an ancient japanese warrior, like so. Then add the handy hands of Edward Scissorhands and put the whole thing into an Iron Man suit. What will you get?
Yes, it’s a completely overpowered super evil robot that wants to destroy the Ninja turtles and is controlled by the bad guys. In terms of weapons, this is possibly the most efficient and bad-ass one. Emphasis on the bad. A bit less could have worked just as well…
And then there’s Mr. Sacks. He’s the bad guy (which will be found out later in the movie. At the beginning, April believes he is a friend and tells him all about the mutated turtles). I don’t have anything against the character (played by William Fichtner) – it’s just the name! Couldn’t they have picked something like Smith, Brown or ANYthing but the one name that sounds like sex? There’s this part in the movie where he talks about his company and its success – saying something along the lines of “sex chemicals, sex industry, sex robotics and sex construction”. My friend and I were dying of laughter at that point. Unfortunately, there was a young boy sitting in front of us and his mom turned around and asked us to shut up. I’m sure she wasn’t that amused, either.
So really, this name is just wrong. My friend and I thought about changing the vocal, but neither sicks nor secks, let alone socks and sucks would have been more appropriate. Oh Well.
In summary, I think the movie is a nice one to watch if there’s nothing else on – especially if you’re under 18. Or drunk. Or with friends. Or if you’re a die-hard fan of the ninja turtles. It is not a movie to go to if you expect a great film with amazing actors and a deep story and character development. I did enjoy watching it, especially since it has some pretty badass action scenes and the special effects aren’t bad, either. Bonus for the snow chase! Minus for the geeky bike helmet.
I apologize if this review sounds a bit insincere and sarcastic. Although, on second thought – nope, not apologizing for that.
Hello, hello! I know, I haven’t been very active lately, but now I’m back with a brand new movie review on Marvel’s latest hero story! I’ll try very hard not to spoiler anything. But please read with caution!
Marvel is pretty good when it comes to marketing. Want to know why? Well. They do so much more than just releasing a movie every few months – they are creating a universe where everything is affected by another. So each movie is part of a bigger picture.
Last fall, they started a whole series around agent Coulson and a team of S.H.I.E.L.D agents. (No superheroes there, just incredibly talented and clever humans). This show has connected both the Thor 2 movie and now the Winter Soldier. So basically, when a new movie comes out, the series stops for a few weeks and then incorporates the events of the movies into the next episodes. How grand is that? It’s perfect marketing.
Of course you can still watch the series without knowing what happens in the movies or rather you can decide to get the spoilers in the series. But really. Who wants that? I certainly don’t, so basically that’s why I ended up going to the cinema yesterday. Because I am completely hooked and want to know everything that happens in Marvel’s universe. And I hate spoilers.
Let see then, what I thought of Winter Soldier.
I watched the 3D Version – and it was bombastic. I loved the visual effects, not only during the explosions and action scenes, but also the general depth added by 3D. I can’t really remember the last movie I saw with 3D technology, but I think Winter Soldier so far was the best experience I ever had with 3D. It felt just real, not too overwhelming, not too forced. Thumbs up for that!
The cast was mostly known, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Cobie Smulders starred in previous productions such as The Avengers. But there were some fresh faces as well, such as Anthony Mackie as Falcon and Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier. In my opinion, the cast was good, not great. They act well together, but I was missing a certain brilliance, some sort of deeper connection that makes me forget the names of the actor and completely believe in the characters. If I had to pick one, I’d say Scarlett Johansson had the best performance. I love the character Black Widow and she got the whole package: action scenes, a lot of funny remarks and some thoughtful inside moments. I still have no clue who she really is or what happened to her, but I felt that her character was portrayed very nicely and believable. I also liked the bantering between her and Steve Rogers. (Apologies to all Cap fans out there, I never really liked that character. It’s not Chris Evans fault. Or maybe it is.)
What I like about the Marvel movies is that in the end, there is always some sort of positive resolution, but the development to that moment is the most important part. The plot was interesting, not too complex but also not too shallow. There were some nice twists in there, I had a couple of “No that did NOT just happen!” moments – then again, some major surprises weren’t too surprising for me because of what happens in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D series. There were tons of references to previous movies, especially the previous Captain America movie. But for those who are not familiar with Steve Roger’s story, Marvel found a nice way of explaining the most important things: there are a few flashbacks and they also have a Captain America museum which plays a minor role.
The fighting sequences are breathtaking, there are some major badass moves (I love the Black Widow’s fighting style and Steve’s round shield!). I was not the only person in the cinema who was stunned and thought “Wooooow what was that just know”. There were a few scenes – let’s call them “touching” – which were, to me at least, disappointing. For example the after-showdown scene between Cap and Bucky. Or what happens to Nick Fury. But that is just a personal feeling. I didn’t cry. I usually cry at those moments.
Let’s wrap it up: I liked the movie. It was good entertainment, fantastic visuals and a solid performance by a mostly known cast. The storyline was ok, some surprises but mostly building up to a reasonably good ending. There were moments where I was literally sitting in my seat rubbing my hands in excitement because I knew what was about to happen. Loved that. It feels so much better if you know more about the whole universe; I think I got a lot more references than the people next to me (who didn’t know much about the whole Marvel thing).
If you liked the previous Marvel productions, go and see this one. It’s really worth it. Maybe not the best movie of the year, but definitely a good one. They left me and all the others with a huge cliff hanger, foreshadowing exciting events for the future, both the series and other movies. (I get the feeling Loki will be part of that future, yup, yup. But that’s just me.) You have to stay until the end though, to see it!
Also, if you haven’t already done that, go and watch the series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It helps to understand. And it’s fun to watch!(And if you haven’t seen any of the Marvel movies – start with Iron Man and then go up chronologically. It makes more sense that way 😉 )
This review might contain spoilers. If you have not seen this movie, the previous one or read the book, do so first 😉
Yesterday was the day. I finally got to see the second part of the Hobbit, which I had been waiting for forever (a year, but that is so long!). I was so excited; I literally was jumping in my seat when it started and silently clapping my hands. However, I left the cinema slightly less ecstatic than last time. The movie was great, amazing pictures and all, but they changed the story a bit too much for my liking. I read the book after the first part last year and was amazed at how close they stayed to the story, but this time there was so much more action than in the original book. They also changed the scene with Beorn, the scenes in the forest, the scenes in the mountain, what happens in Dale… I like that they added Legolas, but the female elf and the blooming love triangle just seems forced. It’s not flowing, not natural. Too bad. (They also added about 1000 orcs. And they are all so handsome!)
Martin Freeman as Bilbo is downright hilarious. There are a lot more funny moments, and they are most of the time nonverbal. The way Bilbo moves, looks, shrugs, whatever. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing – as did the whole cinema. Amazing, amazing, amazing actor.
What I also thought amazing was Smaug. I regret that I couldn’t watch the movie in English because I really want to hear Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice, but the German part wasn’t bad at all. Nice dialogue, fantastic animation. I actually like Smaug! Spoiler alert: He gets massive screen time. Deservedly so.
In total, I really liked the movie. I laughed, I was excited and I feared for our heroes. Although there were many changes to the story, it still makes sense in a way. As usual, Peter Jackson did an excellent job at capturing the scenes with so many details (look out for the very first scene in the movie, guess who’s walking past?) . I was not as flashed as last time, but then it is always hard for a sequel to live up to the previous one.
I will definitely watch the Hobbit again in English as soon as I possibly can (when’s the DVD release??). And then start waiting another year to get to see the finale. Oh Peter Jackson, what are you doing to me? 😀
I went to the cinema last week to finally see Catching Fire. I had been anticipating this movie since the first part came out, so I am glad the wait is over. It was rather spontaneous, I found the special one-time screening in English only about two days earlier (and there was no way I would endure the torture of watching this movie in German.)
The movie was just as fascinating as the first part. As a huge fan of the book series, I was both excited and afraid to see all these characters and settings on screen, but they did a good job and I really loved it. The costumes are downright amazing, I want some of the dresses RIGHT NOW! Effie’s look is hilarious as usual and Katniss has some awesome dresses as well.
The relationships between all the characters are portrayed lovely. The old ones as well as the new ones. For example Finnick and Johanna are some of my favourites and in my opinion, Prim has developed much since the last movie. You can tell she grew up and understands her responsibilities. Also, you just gotta love Haymitch!
I can’t say much about the surprising twists and stuff like that, since I know that story almost by heart and I knew what was coming. Still, I was curious and excited about HOW they would represent certain events. Although I imagined the arena differently, I still liked it.
The soundtrack is also lovely, I believe music is a vital part of the success of a movie. In Catching Fire, the music, settings/landscapes, characters and costumes are very well done, you can tell how much detail they put into every scene. I will now wait patiently until the DVD comes out and then until the third part will hit the theatres. Geez. Will be another years or so, right?
Well, go and see Catching Fire now and experience for yourself the weird, twisted and hopeful story of Katniss and Panem. And may the odds be EVER in your favour.
Today I spontaneously went and watched the brand new Star Trek movie featuring the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch. I can’t even remember the last time I watched a Star Trek movie but I know it was part of my childhood and I enjoyed the Enterprise Crew’s adventures. I haven’t watched many SciFi movies in the last years, but I am in a mood for action and superhero movies recently, so this fitted in perfectly.
I loved the movie! There was a lot of shooting, fighting and blowing up, possibly a bit too much, but that was expected. As usual, the Enterprise nearly crashes on some planet or is otherwise destroyed and I know that in most movies, there is a good ending. I was still on the edge of my seat and anticipating what would happen next.
There were also quite a bit of hilarious moments where you just had to burst out laughing – many of them involved Mr. Spock. It took me back a few years – because I remember it was like that in the previous movies as well.
The story is interesting, though I cannot say whether it is original or not. I certainly enjoyed it and couldn’t foresee some of the twists. (But I usually never can because I’m not trying. Where’s the fun in knowing everything?) The actors were good, especially Benedict Cumberbatch and the guy who played Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto, apparently). I am not too fond of the Kirk actor, but I cannot put my finger on it. Maybe he’s just not THE Captain Kirk but an younger, more reckless version.
In any case, I am very glad I got to see that movie and I feel like I want to re-watch some of the older movies now for good times sake. I just finished watching the Batman Series and might be tackling Superman or Captain America next, might as well throw in a bit SciFi along the way.
If you’re not a fan of SciFi and can’t relate to the whole starship theme, this is not the movie for you. But in any other case, especially if you’re a fan of Cumberbatch, go and see it!
Finally, I got to see the musical Les Misérables! I had wanted so see it since I came here, but I waited for somebody to accompany me for too long. I have only two weeks to go, so I decided to go alone. I went to the early show and I had the perfect seat: Upper Circle, front row in the centre. I had to lean forward, but that was quite comfortable.
I love the music, the story and the characters; it was a very powerful performance. I tried very hard not to cry, but of course I failed miserably –just like the girl sitting next to me. We were sobbing in unison at the end. Even though I know the story and I had watched the movie a few months ago, it was still so very touching and I was excited to see how they would perform certain things – for example Javert’s last song.
Compared to the movie cast, I liked most of the actors equally. The only one I preferred in the movie was Russell Crowe as Javert, he was just amazing. Eddie Redmayne was an amazing Marius, but I liked the singing voice of the musical actor better. The costumes were stunning and the backgrounds were incredible. They had a turning stage in the form of a circle. So you got to see what was happening in front of the barricades or behind in turns. Compared to the Phantom of the Opera, it was even better in terms of stage setting. All the different sets were very realistic and believable, no matter whether it was the House of the Innkeepers or the sewer system.
The show was almost sold out I think, which is just another sign for how much people love Les Mis. The actors got standing ovations at the end and it was well deserved. Les Misérables now officially is my favourite musical of all times, placing Wicked as second. I can only recommend everybody to go see it if you haven’t – or see it again if you have. It is well worth the money and time. You should also go and buy the DVD or Bluray of the movie, which will be released tomorrow (13th of May)!
If you have not yet seen the movie Lincoln, please be aware that this review might contain spoilers.
Watching this movie was a very spontaneous idea and I didn’t have much time to contemplate whether I actually want to see it or not. I have seen the trailer several times and the short sequences they showed during the BAFTA awarding session. It seemed intriguing, but my lack of knowledge of the Civil War and Abolition of Slavery deterred me from being overly interested in this movie. I have heard from several people that this movie had brilliant actors but that the overall story was rather boring. With that in mind, I went to see it.
It was not boring at all. Yes, it is a movie with rather few action scenes. There is not much blood gushing about or explosions tearing human flesh apart. It is not a movie about the Civil War. It is a movie about humanity: about emotions, hope, despair and the pressure of being the leader of a nation. It is also a movie about politics. But even though I don’t care much for politics and never understood what is going on behind the doors of Congresses or Parliaments, this movie kept me interested and wondering what would happen next. It was delightful to see the genius but also childish mind of Lincoln, conveying wise and grave truths through little stories, playing with his son while waiting for the results of the vote that would change the world.
It is a confusing movie, as well. There are so many characters and it was hard for me to keep up with who was who. That might seem boring to other people, because boring is easier to say than “too intellectual for me to keep up”. There are brilliant dialogues, even though I didn’t always understand what they talked about.
I very much liked the alternating sides of Lincoln the father and husband and Lincoln the president. It is a portrayal of a man who carried the weight of the world on his shoulders – and the weight of a family on top of that.
The end was quite abrupt, I have to say. I would have liked to see more of the people’s reaction to Lincoln’s death. Not in any cheesy way, but I was a bit disappointed that they showed only the younger son and the wife grieving. What happened to the firstborn?
In conclusion, I was clearly not disappointed and didn’t find the movie boring. The actors were indeed splendid and Daniel Day-Lewis very much deserves the BAFTA award for Best Actor. It is a challenging movie that requires you to use your mind while watching it. I guess since quite a few people are not used to doing this in the cinema, the movie is deprived of the credit it deserves.