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This is my old blog, which I no longer update. Feel free to browse around old posts and such, but the much more recent version of my ramblings are to be found at MarilynAnneCampbell.com

Monday, March 13, 2006

'Beowulf & Grendel'

My only previous experience with the story of Beowulf was watching a mud show version of it at the Ontario Renaissance Festival. That version was dirty and silly and messy and had only a tenuous connection to the original. Strangely, this Canada/U.K./Iceland co-production is much the same. It was wonderfully dirty in its earthiness, relying on the land and the weather to create atmosphere instead of special effects. The silly aspects were hit and miss, great when they involved Grendel himself (bowling for severed heads, par example), but less amusing when they hinged on anyone else (what was up with that Beowulf on Fish Beach scene, anyway?). Unfortunately the story was messy in the first act, and the accents were messy in every scene. This strikes me as a better rental than something worth spending money on for a big screen viewing, but in that case the landscape of Iceland may be less impressive and that, really, was one of the two highlights. The other was Grendel as played by Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson. For a character with only broken dialogue and little interaction with others that didn’t involve killing them, he was surprisingly engaging.

Is there some strange Canadian knack for directing characters who only speak in guttural grunts? First ‘Quest for Fire’ and now this…

Quick Links
'Beowulf & Grendel’ Official Site

Get In-Depth
“Beowulf in Hypertext’ University of McMaster Site

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