Robin Hood: This Robin is more Gandhian

June 13, 2010

Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood and Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood are looking over the shoulder of Ridley Scott’s Robin Longstride.

So rather cleverly, the movie is a sort of prequel to these and may justly be titled “The making of Robin Hood”. It ends at the beginning.

This is the twenty-first century Robin Hood — an older, cynical, born-again-democrat Robin, who robs the rich to give to the poor, and sleeps on the couch while Marion takes the bed.

Russell Crowe is here in his “Gladiator” avatar — fighting and winning. Every time.

But not so much and as violently as you would probably like him to. The violence here doesn’t even come close to what we have come to expect from say India’s own outlaws — the Maoist rebels.

This film’s Robin is more “Gandhian” than “Gandhian with a gun”.

The fight sequences are what you have come to expect of Hollywood’s period films — longbows and swordplay and horse riding — pretty standard and good-while-it-lasts but nothing you will take back home from the theatre.

The French are the bad guys in this movie — the familiar scourges of the Sherwood Forest only put in appearances, awaiting their turn.

Even though the movie opens with Cate Blanchett and she even takes to the battlefield astride a horse there isn’t much for her to do.

Except doing the laundry and being rescued and falling in love with a man who is not her husband.

I liked some of the detailing — how the wood of a bow splinters as the arrow is released and barons giving speeches with spit (literally) flying.

If you are a sucker, like me, for medieval action sequences and rough-tough grizzled men who stare intensely at the camera — “Robin Hood” is for you.

Keep going through the popcorn though — nothing on the screen will distract you from it.

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