This film, which can be rentedfrom your local video store, israted on a scale of 1 to 4 caducei:
Brother, Where Art Thou?
(2004): Sometimes a storyis just too good to be"messed with." Iknow I braced myselfwhen I heardthat Homer's was being adaptedfor the big screen.On the one hand Icould not imaginehow they could ever cram such abeloved epic into a couple of hours.On the other hand, I knew I just hadto see them try. And like most ambitiousadaptations, this one fell shortof the mark. Don't get me wrong, ithad some wonderful moments, but itteetered a little too tenuously betweenthe world of mythology andhistory for my liking. Director WolfgangPeterson nods to the mythologicalroots of the story without actuallymaking them a part of the film—although Achilles (Brad Pitt) makes itclear that he has walked among thegods. So where are they? Thetis (thesea-goddess, Achilles' mother) makesan appearance, but unless you studiedmythology, you'd hardly recognizeher. And the rearranging of plotand character motivation felt a bitstrained. Overall the cast is strongand appears committed to makingthe film work, but there are someobstacles that even the gods can'tovercome. In this case, a forced scriptand an abandoned source, leave thisbeautiful film barren. If you want tosee a better, though highly interpretive,Homeric adaptation, rent
Lisa A. Tomaszewski, managing editor
of Physician's Money Digest, is currently
working on her PhD in literature at
Drew University in New Jersey. She is
an avid fan of film and has taught a
summer film course at Fairleigh
Dickinson University. She welcomes
questions, comments, or suggestions for
future film reviews at 732-656-1140
ext 195 or email@example.com.