21 January 2011 | anirbanab
If you like 'Asterix' type bantering, you'll like this movie.
Watch this movie, you'll like it. This is funny, but not blunt; sensual but not pornography; fable-based but never too far away from "reality".
If you merely watch it to have a nice funny time, you can have it all the way through. But if you are film-buff, with inclination for "serious stuff", believe me, there's something in for you too. For example, just have a look at the very first shots. The sense of color contrast and sheer idea of perspective of the 5 opening minutes will make you remember Jodorowski's 'The Mole'. Title music sets you up appropriately with lots of typical Arabic movements. A look at the set and costumes will suggest the presence of adequate sincerity that should mark a period movie.
Humor forms the pivot of this movie. But its not cheap and blunt humor. Director Antonio Margheriti has done a good job by maintaining the level of subdued humor (almost) intact throughout the entire course of the movie.
Filming fairy-tales, and that too extremely popular ones, isn't the easiest of the jobs. In many of the cases, they tend to become stale. But this one stays afloat all along. It seems to me that staleness of the contemporary fairy-tale movies can largely be attributed to the use of unbridled and incessant stream of 'special effects'. Pleasant absence of these dreadful 'special effects' makes this movie even more watchable. Primitive versions of 'special effects', as have been tried in a few cases here, do not let your jaw drop in assessing the absurdity, it merely makes the viewing enjoyable.
Nonetheless, even with all these features, movie becomes tad monotonous as it progresses; but the uni-dimensionality of the fable would have to be blamed for that. Mind you, level of this monotony never reaches (even half of) the threshold as to prompt you to not view it.
There's a thin line that separates erotic story-telling from pornography. This line was never breached here. As a result, the film remains pleasing till the end.
All the basic ingredients of a good movie can be found here. While one shouldn't call it a masterpiece, this can surely be considered within the select set of top-class fable-oriented and/or fantasy-oriented movies.
All in all, if you want to spend a lazy weekend afternoon with a movie that does not demand a great level of concentration and is funny without being cheap, this fits the bill perfectly.