Thursday, 16 February 2012

Immortals, dir. Tarsem Singh, wr. Vlas Parlapanides, Charley Parlapanides, st. Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Luke Evans, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Mickey Rourke

Visionary director Tarsem Singh has always struggled to lavish as much attention upon story as he does his films' remarkably elaborate and magnificent visual aesthetics. His first feature, The Cell in 2000, at least works narratively as a perfectly serviceable psychological thriller, and 2006's The Fall features the alluring pairing of Lee Pace weaving a messy and fragmented yarn to young fellow-patient Catinca Untaru. There are some echoes of Vintage Tarsem here, reflected in the heavily stylised set-design or ornate costuming, but one feels that in expanding his focus to the Herculean scope of Greek mythology, narrative and character focus is sacrificed in the face of having such a gargantuan story to tell - as it stands, a story that liberally picks and mixes from various Classical tales, and is about as exciting as a deflowered oracle. The film also delivers good on its promise as seen in the theatrical trailer to provide us with much 300-esque slo-mo thumpery which very quickly tires the eye and dulls the brain. Having said that, stylistically it's all rather splendid and unique as usual but I was rather hoping that Tarsem Singh films became something you watch and not just something you look at.