The age of heroes has long passed us by, what we live in is an age of wannabes. Moral dwarves scurrying to their holes of self-justification.
In a reality that disappoints with such unfailing regularity, our only chance of coming across a hero seems to be within the intangible firmament of imagination and thought, as if heroism itself was something so transitory that it would not survive reality. But accustomed as we are to the currency of tangible reality, the world of thought is sealed but for those who would speak and decipher its language.
Beowulf stands at the borderlands of fantastical world of thought and the hard boundaries of physical reality. Motion capture lends its animated human characters a realism that lends life like posturing and movements. That alone makes this effort a precursor of what movies can and will be.
But for all its technical achievements, seldom does the art draw your attention, except perhaps when you hold your breath on seeing things you would not expect to confront usually.
The way the characters and the environs have been envisioned is out of the world too.
<spoiler>One striking example is how a hero is portrayed. Brash, egotistic, even vain and tons of other moral weaknesses. Just when you think that this conflicts with every mental model of a hero, the redeeming quality emerges. The scene is when the monster Grendel pays a ‘visit’ to the mead hall. When all around scurry about in mortal fear, there stands Beowulf, sans a shred of clothing since he wishes to meet the monster in similar elements, staring at this awful creature, this monstrosity, displaying only a single emotion, ‘what the heck is this!’. No fear, no flinching, just a cold instinctual assessment of the situation and jumps into the task. The physical postures, the choreography of the action sequences and the final declaration of what he is, once victory seems sure, has to be one of the finest moments in recent movie history.</spoiler>
Watch this, you will not be dissapointed.
[My other post on Beowulf is here]