Master and Commander: The Far Side of
the World (2003, Peter Weir) – rated SIMMERING
The beginning is just brilliant. Day dawns, there’s a terrific CGI
cannon shot, and the ships are very impressive. You can feel the
historical accuracy. Russell Crowe is suitably heroic as Captain
Jack Aubrey, and Paul Bettany is impressive as Dr Stephen
Maturin. The chemistry between them is palpable (and they were
successfully teamed before in A
Beautiful Mind (2001, Ron Howard)).
The dialogue is of a high standard. There’s a joke about “the
lesser of 2 ‘weevils’”. And Aubrey asks: “Do you want to see a
guillotine in Piccadilly?” (the American enemy ship of the book has
been changed to a French foe).
Weir shows us dramatically that sailing is both science &
superstition. The film is also notable for its mention of the
wonderful creature, the phasmid – which disguises itself as a stick.
Very much in the tradition of the great action adventure films of the
Golden Years of Hollywood. You’ll be swept away.