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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Everything I Do, I Do It For You!

Dear friends,

If we are in the Robin Hood movie mood, why should we let Prince of Thieves escape from us? Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is the 1991 movie about the legendary Robin Hood, played by Kevin Costner without a British accent (I just had to point that out...). It has been mocked in the Robin Hood: Man In Tights, but you already know that if you watched my Monday post ;) So let's get cracking and see what this movie has to offer us and if it is worth watching.
After being captured by Turks during the Crusades, Robin of Locksley and a Moor, Azeem, escape back to England, where Azeem vows to remain until he repays Robin for saving his life. Meanwhile, Robin's father, a nobleman loyal to King Richard the Lionhearted, has been murdered by the brutal Sheriff of Nottingham, who helped install Richard's treacherous brother, Prince John, as king while Richard is overseas fighting the Crusades. When Robin returns home, he vows to avenge his father's death and restore Richard to the throne. Even though Maid Marian, his childhood friend, cannot help him, he escapes to the Forest of Sherwood where he joins a band of exiled villagers and becomes their leader. With their help he attempts to cleanse the land of the evil that the Sheriff has spread.  
Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>
One of the movies of my childhood - along with Robin Hood: Man In Tights - was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Actually this is one of the first movies I remember being in a Cinema and reading the lines of the movie by myself! So this was indeed a big step for me and of course I remember to this day Kevin Costner shooting the arrows and me falling in love with the soundtrack of the movie :)
Starring: Kevin Costner (the most un-british Robin Hood I have ever seen), Morgan Freeman (the first movie I have seen with him, taking into account that The Shawshank Redemption was a few years after Robin Hood), Alan Rickman (the kind of villain that steals the show and you feel pity that he is not the one who wins), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (God! I loved her hair in this movie, all curly and wild, but I felt no real connection between her and Robin!), Michael Wincott, Christian Slater (a very 20th century Will Scarlet)
Written by: Pen Densham & John Watson (story by Pen Densham)
Directed by: Kevin Reynolds
Let's start with Robin Hood, who should be a joyous person, full of laugher and merryment even though he had seen the horrors of the crusades. In the legends he is like that, in the previous movies/TV series he is like that but in this particular movie you feel that he is moving as if the whole world would be on his shoulders. You barely see him smile, you barely see him happy and he wears a constant frown. The whole movie does not help as it is as dark and could be accounted as scary for younger children - I suggest not to show it to children even though I had fun while I was small. The movie starts with the jail in Jerusalem where Robin is now and one of the first scenes is with a lad having his hand cut. How is that for a good start?! Robin here is not the fun-type of person who understands that all work and no play makes John a dull boy... he preffers to be dull! It is as if it were his duty to save everyone from everything. He is the one who will save the kingdom - by himself! - while King Richard is away! He will defeat evil and make things right! Kevin Costner can be an awesome actor when he wants to but here he was too much of a dark Robin Hood. I even felt no chemistry whatsoever with Lady Marian, even though the girl is just ravishing!
Sheriff of Nottingham on the other hand is simply amazing! Alan Rickman steals the show and makes you love him even though he is the negative character of the movie. He is the kind of villain that you love to hate :) Wicked and totally charming at the same time he steals the screen when he appears on it. It is weird and sad at the same time to love the negative character more but there you go! He is just one sad little puppy who did not get enough love so he started to rebel.  You even feel for him when he delivers lines like "Locksley, I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!" and you begin to think he is quite the Grinch when he says "That's it then! Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings and call off Christmas!". The sheriff even tells a child, "it's amazing I'm sane" when he talks about his childhood... it is quite sad to know that you have been brought up by a witch instead of your real parents. But don't pity him too much! He IS the evil character and he will try to deflower Maid Marian after marrying her in a haste! To be noted that in fact the Sheriff had an extra 15 minutes or so of screen time but the big shots of the movie stated that already people were rooting more for him than for Robin so they decided to cut his lines/scenes shorter. Plus... should we actually count for the try-out-rape-scene as real rape or mocking?! Here again apparently it was Rickman's ideea to have a funny twist about it - I think he was also trying to protect the viewers so... well done!
Now Maid Marian... well Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is delightfully pretty with her flowing rebel hair all in curls but somehow makes be dizzy by not deciding if she is frail or not. In the first scene of her in the movie we see her dressed up as a masked man, standing up to Robin and quite surprising him. We see her going with her maid into the Sherwood Forest - without any cavalry or man in waiting, just 2 ladies - and outhanding the merry man who were trying to steal from her + demanding to see Robin. Now that is one fiesty woman who flinches not even from seeing babies born in hard cases/conditions. So how come we see a whining and scared Maid Marian at the end of the movie, being happy that she was saved by a man? I much rather think Fanny - Little John's wife - an amazing woman! She had 8 children!!! and she is still able to run and jump and climb and join the men in saving her son - "I've given birth to eight babies, don't you talk to me about getting hurt, you big ox."
But to my humble opinion, the 2nd best performance of this movie - after the brilliant Alan Rickman - has to be the one of Morgan Freeman as The Painted Man, Azeem. He somehow manages to bring sanity and wisdom in this movie when all things fail. Even though he is dark colored and at the time he was looked as a servant, Robin is the only one who treats him as equal and demands that from the others as well. I remember a very cute scene from the party in the forest, when one little girl comes to him and asks him if God made him like that and why. He replies that God loves wonderous variety! and so it is, or so I believe as well. Colors do not matter but the soul of a person and the actions one takes during his life. As I said, this uis the first movie I have seen with him and I was mesmerised by the way he acted. Him and Alan made the movie brilliant! And even though Kevin gave us a very American-like Robin Hood, I hold that not against him, as I still like this movie very much :)
***
Worth mentioning is as well the beautiful soundtrack and especially the worldwide known hit by Brian Adams - Everything I Do, I Do It For You! that manages to make me cry every single time. It is so romantic and memory evoquing that it always manages to pull a tear or two from me - I admit it! I do not know if you ever seen this movie, though I think and believe you should have, but it is definetely worth an evening. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it and of Robin Hood: Man in Tights. And watch them in the right order, Kevin Costner first so you would understand Cary Elwes jokes ;) Plus! It is a must see if you are an Alan Rickman fan :)

Yours truly,
A Robin Hood LadyBug Fan :)