Sharpe's Challenge (2006)

TV Movie   |  TV-14   |    |  Action, Adventure, History

Sharpe's Challenge (2006) Poster

Two years after the Duke of Wellington crushes Napoleon at Waterloo, dispatches from India tell of a local Maharaja, Khande Rao, who is threatening British interests there. Wellington sends... See full summary »



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3 September 2006 | LCShackley
| A welcome return, but a lost opportunity
What could be better than spending another 2+ hours in the company of two of TV's greatest heroes, Sharpe & Harper? Sean Bean and Daragh O'Malley look a little the worse for wear, but their chemistry is still working and there is plenty of swashbuckling afoot in this Indian adventure. The scenery is magnificent (I'm SO glad they didn't try to film it, let's say, in the UKRAINE!) and the cast is first rate. This new SHARPE has all the ingredients that made its predecessors so enjoyable to watch. And since they've obviously thrown more money at this one it looks better. (For instance, a lot more extras are used in battle scenes than we're used to seeing in earlier installments.) At the risk of being called a "purist" or an "obsessive" (words already bandied about in this forum), I have to say I'm disappointed that we're probably never going to get to see Cornwell's three Sharpe Indian novels presented as they were written. Of course, I realize there were many changes made in the earlier episodes, but here are a couple of reasons why:

1. The three Indian books give us a good look at the very young Sharpe and the formation of his character. But that would require another (younger) actor, which the producers realize would diminish their audience.

2. We miss the wonderful situations involving the young(er) Hakeswill, played so marvelously by Pete Postlethwaite in earlier episodes. The Indian books let us revel in Sharpe's personal battle with this demented enemy. The producers had to come up with about four villains in SHARPE'S CHALLENGE to make up for him.

Bernard Cornwell, realizing he was sitting on a gold mine, has milked Sharpe's adventures, adding battles before, after, and in between those of the original set of books. And long may he milk! However, this means that we will miss authentic dramatizations of these later additions to the Sharpe canon (cannon, geddit?).

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