Director: Kevin Reynolds
Starring: James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus
RunTime: 2 hrs 6 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Day : 6 April 2006
longtime dream project of executive producers Tony Scott and
Ridley Scott explores the medieval legend of a princess and
warrior’s love affair, which threatens to tear apart
an uneasy peace between England and Ireland. A tale of epic
battles, royal intrigue and a timeless, star-crossed passion.
Everybody loves a good love story.
“Romeo and Juliet” and “Titanic”.
They share a similar quality of having elements of conflicts,
social class and family rivalry as well as tragic endings.
These formulaic themes have been noted by Hollywood directors
and have been recycled numerous times to up box-office sales.
However, “Tristan and Isolde” is different. While
retaining all the abovementioned elements of a love story
fit for a romanticist, it also has elements of chivalry, betrayal
and barbaric fights thrown in. “Tristan and Isolde”
is thus not a unique creation, but it can be considered as
a lovable film with elements of its predecessors present.
film is set in a land of turmoil. The Irish army is building
up its strength gradually with its eyes on England. However,
instead of uniting to fight the invading Irish brutes, the
tribes within England are fighting among themselves. And in
the midst of this tussle, arises a couple whose relationship
is never meant to be. It’s a doomed relationship that
is separated by tribal feuds, a vast ocean and conflicting
loyalties. And because of the various barriers to the reunion
of the couple, this film is more emotional than brutal, more
heart-wrenching than mere satisfying.
to playing Green Goblin’s son Harry Osborn, the audience
might be surprised to see the male lead James Franco taking
a turn for the better simply by being the adopted son of Lord
Marke (Rufus Sewell), whose righteousness and judiciousness
shines among his countryman. His performance in “Tristan
+ Isolde” is commendable, be it his remarkable swashbuckling
skills in the fighting arena or his charismatic aura in the
presence of his beloved Isolde (Sophia Myers). With a tinge
of innocence and maturity, Sophia Myers’s performance
is convincing as the lover torn between her love for Tristan
and loyalty to her country. The chemistry between both leads
does sizzle in the heat of passion and their love will have
the audience glued to the seat, while the occasional doses
of action do keep the audience engaged.
it may be compared with films such as “Rob Roy”
(1995), “Braveheart” (1995) and “Gladiator”
(2000), “Tristan + Isolde” proves itself to be
different from its counterparts by pushing romance to the
fore while allowing the ongoing battles to settle as the backdrop.
Seen in this light, “Troy” (2004) will be a better
film to compare “Tristan + Isolde” with. Nevertheless,
“Tristan + Isolde” has more credibility and is
more believable. Be it battles scenes or romantic relationships,
“Tristan + Isolde” has it all.
+ Isolde” has the ingredients to be a hit for fans of
both genders. However, it is most suited for romanticists.
With awe-provoking scenic visuals, alluring Irish soundtrack,
glorious gladiator fights and a love that never dies, few
films ever comes close to achieving such a connection with
in the midst of chaos arises a never-ending love story. It
questions the possibility of an everlasting love relationship
during war and conflict but never really answers that. The
enigma thus is the crucial question that sustains the film.
(“An appreciative tribute to ‘Romeo and Juliet’”)
by Patrick Tay