The warrior King Odysseus leaves his idyllic life in the kingdom of Ithaca to fight in the Trojan War. After winning the war, he now must endure a lengthy, ten-year journey to return, and ...
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One of the most legendary adventures in all mythology is brought to life in Jason and the Argonauts, an epic saga of good and evil. As a mere boy Jason, the heir to the kingdom of Ancient ... See full summary »
The sovereign Greek island of Ithaca, 8th century B.C. The Trojan War has been over for ten years, and the Greeks have come home victorious. Only one man is missing: the king of Ithaca, ... See full synopsis »
The aquatic adventure of the highly influential and fearlessly ambitious pioneer, innovator, filmmaker, researcher, and conservationist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, covers roughly thirty years of an inarguably rich in achievements life.
The film consists of 24 continuous shorts by 24 groups of filmmakers telling the complete story of THE ODYSSEY, Homer's epic in 24 chapters. The story begins at the end of a war, the ... See full summary »
The warrior King Odysseus leaves his idyllic life in the kingdom of Ithaca to fight in the Trojan War. After winning the war, he now must endure a lengthy, ten-year journey to return, and with all his wits, Odysseus must overcome deadly monsters, powerful forces of nature, seductive enchantresses, and even journey into the bowels of the Underworld.
Odysseus' protector is the goddess Athena. He angers the god Poseidon. Athena and Poseidon are longtime rivals in mythology, having fought over the patronage of the city-state that would be known as Athens (so, clearly, Athena won that battle). See more »
When Odysseus and his men offer the Cyclops cheese, the soldiers with him switch positions between shots. See more »
I thoroughly enjoyed the book of the epic, which I read recently, and was pleasantly surprised to find this on video.
Obviously, there are significant omissions, edits and rewrites from the original - and quite long - text, not to mention the change to a standard timescale (rather than using constant flashbacks and anecdotes as in Homer's tale). Having said that, a surprising amount of detail did make it into this film, and the locations especially were almost all perfect - just as I'd imagined them. I even 'recognised' places before they were mentioned by name. Kudos to the production team.
Where the story is simplified, it is done carefully and logically, and leaves in virtually all of Odysseus's more fantastic adventures - dispensing with most of the hospitality, minor characters' subplots - Telemachus' journey is over in seconds - and (unfortunately) with any scenes on Mount Olympus. The net effect is of the story told entirely from Odysseus' viewpoint, while keeping an eye on events back at his palace in Ithaca.
I'll not go too far into the story - since that is why you'll be watching in the first place - but I will say that the special effects are mostly quite good, and don't detract in any way. Of the entire cast I only found Telemachus to be somewhat whiney & annoying, but you manage. Casting is generally very good (especially Calypso - wow).
If there is a problem with this film, it is that by cutting out so much of the rituals, travel and more complicated deceptions, it takes away much of the scale, grandeur and 'epic'ness of it all - while still taking 3 hours to watch. A lot of the ritual and repetition of the original text is actually a large part of its charm (as well as an entirely necessary story-telling mechanic), and I think it could be adapted in full if turned into a short series.
In summary, this is a decent version, but you'll get the most enjoyment out of this film if you've already read The Odyssey (which, as with most book/film adaptations, is significantly better). If you're thinking of watching this instead of reading The Odyssey - please don't. You'll have trouble getting into the text if you think you know what's coming next.
And for the cast & crew of this film - well done. I wish there were a bit more ambition amongst TV and film companies these days.
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