Thursday, February 19, 2009
Pendragon; Sword of His Father - Reflections
Sierra, you asked what I thought of the Pendragon film, so I think I'll devote a whole post to it!
It was with great excitement back in December that I unwrapped the cellophane from the movie and finally began to watch it with my family! Procrastinator that I am, I've been meaning ever since then to do a review. For now, this is not really a proper review - it is, rather, some recollected thoughts.
What an ambitious film! An epic, historical story like this usually takes millions of dollars to make, and Pendragon; Sword of His Father was done on a fraction of that (about $80,000, I think) These folks (two families of cousins and some friends) raised lots of the money, and did a great job with what they had. While the production qualities still had room for improvement, the story was well-thought-out and biblical, and I was caught up in it, only jarred now and then by little things.
Things I liked:
Costumes - They did a great job on these! The weapons in the mass-battles looked a bit fake, but decent knowing some of them were made from cardboard!
Sets -Much of it is outdoors, and of course God's creation is beautiful. ;) But the other sets were well-done. Marvelous details. I love the distant shots of the fortress of Arfon!
Plot - I was surprised by the challenges presented to the characters, especially near the end, which went so much deeper than most action flicks these days! Hard questions were asked, which, in different forms, Christians still struggle with today.
The last sword fight between two main characters - Effects during that were amazing, and the choreography looked much better than some of the slower ones earlier on.
Things that bugged me a little:
Accents - Only a few characters tried to have anything near a British accent, and that only occasionally. I know, it would be hard to get so many volunteers to work up good accents, but I wish they tried. Loving accents as I do. ;)
Some of the acting was very well done, some needed a little work. Cadeyrn and Brotus were probably my favorite, as far as convincing me they were truly the characters.
Other odd little things here and there, which I don't remember at the moment, still announced that this was a low-budget film. Probably one of these is the large-scale battles, though the stockade battle was pretty well-done. They handles the violence tactfully (this is not LotR), but the scale just didn't seem quite big enough...
So, if you don't mind some production flaws in independent films, and if you have a good imagination, and if you love to get caught up in historic epics made by and about Christians with vision doing hard things for the Lord - you'll probably enjoy this one. I liked it, and look forward to what Burns Family Study will produce next!
Sierra, I think you'd like it. :-)
A funny side note. There's a moment when Artos emerges from burning rubble, after two intense fights, miraculously alive but wounded (at least his arm and side are bloody, and he would have to have some burns too). The second time I watched the film, with some good friends of my family, Cate mentioned in laughing frustration that, in that scene, Winneveria seems more interested in hugging Artos than in tending to his wounds. Perhaps it's a bit understandable, because he seems fairly alive. But later that night (we were being crazy and stayed up too late) while watching another very good film (beginning with the initials TOoD), we noted this phenomenon reoccur in almost the exact same way! A young man is wounded in a desperate sword fight, and afterwards the young lady stands by and lets him declare his love for her instead of hurrying to staunch his wounds.
Hmm. If a godly young gentleman were about to propose to me, but was also badly hurt, what would I do? Hopefully I'd help him, and he wouldn't lose his nerve to ask later. Hopefully...
(Edited March 12 :-) Thanks, Channah, for the correction!)