Arn The Knight Templar (DVD)
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Arn Magnusson is born in 1150, in Western Sweden. He grows up to become an educated young man and a skilled warrior and meets Cecilla, the love of his life. Then a cruel and jealous world forces them apart. Cecilia is imprisoned in a monastery. Arn is sent to the Holy Land as a Knight Templar, where war is raging between Christians and Muslims. Arn and Cecilia both have to struggle to survive, to learn how to confront evil and overcome physical hardship. Their painful separation causes their faith in God to waver - though not their faith in each other and their conviction that they will one day be reunited. When Arn returns home, he has to fight for his love and what has become his mission: to unite Sweden into one Kingdom.
- Language : English
- Product dimensions : 1.4 x 13.5 x 17 cm; 80 Grams
- Item Model Number : EAG2357
- Director : Peter Flinth
- Media Format : DVD
- Run time : 134 minutes
- Release date : 25 February 2010
- Actors : Sofia Helin, Joakim Natterovist, Simon Callow, Stellan Skarsgard
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Studio : Eagle Entertainment
- ASIN : B07HCD257N
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 32,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- 24,633 in Movies (Movies & TV)
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Some viewers may be put off by the mixture of English and subtitled Swedish, Arabic and Latin in this film. I urge them not to be as it added a feeling of authenticity to me and we ought to be more keen to learn foreign languages in my country. I often find that European films are a breath of fresh air compared to what comes out of Hollywood nowadays so please don't let this discourage you.
It does suffer a little from a 'Christian bashing' attitude, especially in the Holy Land scenes, and it does seem a little slanted towards the Islamic point of view regarding the Crusades. However, that does seem typical of current attitudes to this period, The Kingdom of Heaven film being an obvious case in point. I notice that film is compared to Arn: Knight Templar by many reviewers and have to say that this is more even handed concerning religion, which marred Ridley Scott's otherwise impressive epic.
This is a great film with a good script, strong performances, a fine supporting cast and some great action. Having seen the original edited version, I think this special extended edition is even better, which says a great deal about this film. I strongly recommend it.
In flashbacks, Arn is the son of Magnus Folkesson (Michael Nyqvist) and defeats his foe in a duel. He falls for Cecilia. Her sister tries to bed him. It turns into a scandal and he's excommunicated. A pregnant Cecilia is forced into a nunnery and Arn is sent on the Crusade.
The story flow is disrupted with the constant back and forth. It's not that necessary to keep going back to Cecilia. There is also a disjointed feel. Joakim Nätterqvist is a rather bland leading man. He's a nice Viking-like look but lacks a bigger charisma. This is probably something for the fans of the books but it doesn't hold up as a cinematic movie.
The music is extremely slow and lacks dynamics which unfortunately adds to the overall dull atmosphere throughout the film.
Arn is schooled in a monastery as a way of thanking God for saving his life after an illness (not uncommon practice). He leans more towards archery and sword play than Bible study and so his path to serving God as a soldier is pretty much mapped out. He falls for the daughter of a rival clan and as punishment she gets sent to a nunnery and he has to go off to the Holy Land and serve with the Knights Templar. This is not the story of the Crusades but does deal with it in part, but not very well for historical purists, but the real story here is the love story between Arn and Cecilia, and I felt that there was chemistry and thoroughly enjoyed it. The acting is all pretty much on the money and the cinematography is excellent. And it is epic in the cast and also battle scenes, though I have seen better, but that is a small point. Joakim Natterqvist and Sofia Helin are both excellent and Simon Callow is there for us Brits. Whilst there is the usual 'poetic licence' taken with the plot, this just adds to the narrative and helps sweep you and the plot along.
There have been complaints about the language and I see that might be a problem for some, it is mainly English, but with dialogue in Swedish, Arabic and Latin; I found the subtitles very good and in no way detracted from my enjoyment. However both the Amazon description and the DVD box do not mention the foreign language which has upset a few people. As I said I did not find this a problem and think this is a must for fans of foreign cinema especially if you like a great big dollop of historical action.