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The Four Feathers

Tom’s Recommended Film of the Week

The Four Feathers

Iola is not a big town, but it is filled with eclectic individuals, many of whom have formed a movie group of which I am a member. We take turns proposing films for the group to select and view on a monthly basis. In February, fellow blogger and movie group member, George Cuhaj, offered up three Heath Ledger films for group consideration, to honor the actor after his unfortunate passing.

The group voted for The Order, which I have not yet watched, but Georges other two choices, The Four Feathers and The Brothers Grimm were handy and so I took the time to watch them last week. I had already seen and was disappointed by The Brothers Grimm, a rare thing for a Terry Gilliam film, as I have really liked most everything else he has directed. A second viewing did not change my opinion.

The Four Feathers
was a film I had avoided, not expecting to enjoy it much, but was pleasantly surprised by the depth and breadth of this classic story and the fine crafting of this particular film version. Heath Ledger carried his characters burden well and Djimon Hounsou was excellent as his Sudanese protector and eventual friend, Abu Fatma. The expansive on site filming was wonderful and leant much to the heart of the story. Not having seen any of the earlier versions of this film, I cannot compare them, but I did watch all of the extra material on this disc, as Shekhar Kapur, the Indian director of the film provided much insight into his approach to every element of the films construction, from the music to locations to casting and character motivations. Kapur has much strength in large production period films, as he was the director of both Elizabeth and Elizabth: The Golden Age.

For those who enjoy a strong story line in an adventurous setting, The Four Feathers delivers both, along with a number of thought provoking ethical themes to keep the viewer thinking long after the film is over.

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