WEIRDLAND: Mystical realism and a adventurous Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Mystical realism and a adventurous Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia

Jake Gyllenhaal in Cinema magazine (Germany)

"Prince Dastan (a buff, adventurous Jake Gyllenhaal) is originally from the streets but is the adopted son of King Sharaman of Persia (Ronald Pickup). He fights alongside his brothers, Princes Tus (Richard Coyle) and Garsiv (Toby Kebbell), the king's biological sons, and their Uncle Nizam (Ben Kingsley), who is like the prime minister in a somewhat dual monarchy.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton in TV MOVIE (GERMANY) - ISSUE 11, 2010

The brothers invade a holy city suspected of selling weapons to enemies of Persia, ruled over by the lovely and enigmatic Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton). When the king visits his sons, Dastan presents his father with a gift -- a custom of the times -- that somehow kills King Sharaman. The gift was given to Dastan to give to their father by Prince Tas -- who is now king. Sound suspicious? Yeah, except no one but Dastan and Tamina, who are now fugitives, know that.
The acting is well done, emotions and values of each character are very well-conveyed and the characterizations are flawless; and we see the characters in this movie as others see them. The story has a mystical realism to it, pairing the mythical sands of time in a real empire with realistic settings. There really was an order of assassins who partook of hashish ritualistically and hired themselves out as killers. The film's Hassansins are sent out after Dastan by the man who framed him for his father's murder and wants to use the sands to turn back time itself and become king. And when we find out who that is, it's not some big "I killed him because..." monologue; Dastan figures it out and we realize it as he does. It's more subtle and realistic, and that character's actions confirm his guilt.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) 3D Poster Book

The movie draws you in through almost immediate, frequent action. It's not over-the-top violence, but there is a lot of quick, stylized fighting that captures the eye and commands attention, especially by Gyllenhaal. The Hassansins have a lot of action too, but the creepiest thing about them is their use of snakes. If you don't mind snakes, you'll find it cool and innovative; if, like me, you fear snakes, you'll think it's creepy and adds to their sinister miasma. Either way, it works".

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