Capitaine Alatriste

Capitaine Alatriste

DVD - 2010 | Spanish
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"After his company falls prey to a deadly ambush, Alatriste returns to Spain to fulfill the dying wish of a fallen friend: to care for his son, Iñigo. But the once-mighty empire has started to crumble under the weight of corruption. With Iñigo under his wing, Alatriste must fight to protect his honour amidst the decay of his cherished homeland"--Container.
Publisher: [Canada?] : Métropole Films Distribution : Mongrel Media, c2010.
Edition: Widescreen version.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (145 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


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Aug 02, 2013

This was a very disappointing film, made all wrong. It never seems sure if it wants to be a pirate flick, cowboy fare, or bodice-ripping Flavio/Cartland sex fare. I read the very decent translation of this series’ first novel, which is part of the proceedings of this flick, this very week. As a representation, that initial novel in the Capitan Alatriste series (plus other material from the second) it falls well short. The lack of variety of tone is all wrong: the pace is too even, dull and leaden. You’ll see none of the hills and vales that normally contour the narrative into the visual symphony and treat that is cinema. I am a Viggo Mortensen fan (Appaloosa, Eastern Approaches, A History of Violence, etc.) and was impressed to learn that he mastered Spanish in his youth in Latin America. Still, genuine or not, his voice is always made to sound like a loud whisper in this. That can convey a certain ominousness in some contexts, but to use it in every last one is plain silly. It's not uncommon these days to have voiceovers perfect certain onscreen dialogue, rather than have to fuss with microphone placement. In this case the visual experience is impaired since all speak in perfect, even whispers, sometimes louder than at others, but never in a full-throated way. Even love-declaration scenes involve this unsettling softness of voice, and a consequent passivity of tone. It must be said that the characters in the books possess a definite brutishness, which is true to their lives and warring circumstances. Perez-Reverte executes this nicely with the narrative, although his characters cannot be said to have much depth or three-dimensionality. It is no accident that his narrator is a youth -- presumably his the target audience. This is no put-down: as historical fiction, you will find none better, and as drama it has plenty of strengths. In the movie many scenes also involve fights and killing, and while it is also gory and effective, this quickly wears thin. The treatment of the theatre is poor: a lute plays while they speak, presumably to lend some atmosphere. There's also an effort to evoke the period by quoting famous paintings, and echo the colours and light effects that Velazquez and others used. This is all very fine, and it's even well done. Yet to work it cannot be posy, and it has to be well integrated into the narrative. It is not, here, given the mentioned laconic pace. In fact, I tried but could not finish viewing this. Find the books instead. I’m on the second in the series, and am pleased and awed again at Perez Reverte’s obvious fascination with the history of Spain in its theatre’s Golden Age (Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Calderón de la Barca, Quevedo, etc.), its decline after the failure of the Armada and in Netherlands; and its decay with the pillage of the treasures of South America. And his way of weaving it into his fiction is nothing short of uncanny. But this movie is another thing entirely.

EuSei Jun 20, 2013

Although Viggo speaks a good Spanish, that was not enough to make me want to watch the movie till the end. Too dark, too dirty—hey, not everybody lived in caves then!—too bitter. I plan to read the books and I am willing to bet I’ll like them. The story also lacked cohesion, with lots of “loose” scenes, without anything to link them together and make sense of the mess. I kept watching, wanting to like the story, but Alatriste was a character who passed through the movie—didn’t really live the story, but just passed through the scenes, detached and always sulking. Besides, Viggo looks like a creep too often. Two stars for the mere joy of listening to Spanish from Spain.

Nov 14, 2012

I was expecting more.

Vilka May 25, 2012

Well done film, good costumes and good work reproducing the setting, and wow Viggo's good in Spanish--however, it did drag on, to the point that it hurt my bonding with the characters. I think I might have enjoyed this a bit more if I was more familiar with the history that was going on in the background.

Oct 06, 2011

It is excellent in all aspect. I do not understand Spanish but this does not prevent me from appreciate the talent of actors, producers, and film crews.
If this movie is from Hollywood, it would be nominated for an Oscar!

People who like this movie would like the movie "Cyrano de Bergerac" (French with English subtitle)

Jul 14, 2010

Overly long & cynical, but every gorgeously framed camera shot is like a vintage photograph or a painting by an old master. Viggo Mortensen is sexier in Spanish.


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