24 December 2006 | ccmiller1492
Enthralling saga of the early experiences of one of the world's greatest writers...
This enthralling saga of the early experiences of one of the world's greatest writers succeeds in generating and sustaining viewer interest for all of it's two hour length. It gives an excellent picture of how life must have been like in 16th century Mediterranean Europe. Although most of the characters speech and actions must necessarily be fictitious and some of the lesser plot devices are surely contrived just to carry forward the story, the main events are actually true and because of this they give some insight into possible sources for some aspects of the great author's works. Cervantes actually did fight at the battle of Lepanto, a critical confrontation with the Ottoman Turks who intended to continue their policy of overrunning Europe until this major defeat curbed them. Cervantes was captured and spent some years in captivity until finally ransomed. This film is fascinating in it's subtle foreshadowing of some of the immortal creations of literature (such as Sancho Panza and Dulcinea)whether they actually occurred in the fashion presented or no. Also the important central fact of the entire story is the gradual transition from zeal and idealism to disillusionment and resignation. The contrast of cultures,freedom and slavery, is sensitively portrayed. Usually, in an international epic with so many notable stars, there are some who just don't fit..but in this case they are all well-acted to the degree that they inhabit the story and the period just as do the lesser players, who are all very convincing. "Cervantes, the young rebel" will entertain as well as educate and provide much food for thought.