Due to car repairs, I’m having a week of being a bachelorette. My husband is staying in the nearest “big city” and awaiting the arrival of the replacement parts. Thus, I’m reading and watching a lot more movies than usual.
Last night I watched Beowulf. Looking back from the perspective of this morning, it probably wasn’t the best thing to watch in a dark and lonely apartment… but anyhow, I survived.
I remember being about 11 years old and reading a condensed version of the story. I was recovering from being quite ill and in my boredom I ended up reading a whole set of old Children’s Book of Knowledge Encyclopedias. They contained all the old legends and fairytale stories. The thing about Beowulf that originally captured my attention as a child, was the fine balance between barbaric rawness and heroism.
I wasn’t terribly impressed with the film overall. The graphics were about the same as a high-tech video game, which got kind of annoying in parts. Maybe it would look better on a slightly bigger screen. I found it hard to follow visually.
The content was very graphically violent and coarsely sexual. I didn’t expect all the references to sex, spurting blood, people getting ripped in half and heads being chomped off. Granted, Beowulf IS violent. But it was never intended to merely end up as a two-bit horror story.
My main gripe about the movie was not really any of those things. What bothered me the most was how much they changed the whole flavor of the story. In an attempt to make it more barbaric, they made it crude, crass, and gory. In trying to make Beowulf more human, they made him morally weak and greedily grasping. For Hrothgar to fall prey to lust and the desire for power was plausible. But for Beowulf to make the same mistake? It was just plain stupid. Beowulf deserves better representation.