By Cynthia Ayala
Hello there avid readers. So I have decided to do something completely unprecedented. You know, instead of doing homework and being academically productive, I have decided to take this Columbus Day holiday to be lazy and give myself a day of rest. Because everyone is entitled to a day off every so often right. So this weekend I decided to re-watch Stardust on Netflix. Don’t believe I have a review of it so here we go!
Stardust stars Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer and Charlie Cox as the three main actors of the film. Based on the novel of the same title by Neil Gaiman, the film is a romantic comedy/adventure film about a young man who on his way to capture a fallen star in order to win the hand of the woman he loves. But while this is a romance film, it’s also a film about coming of age, about finding where you belong in the world and where everything fits in. It’s a fun film that received many well deserved reviews.
Charlie Cox plays the main role of Tristan, the young man who takes on the adventure of a lifetime, crossing the mystical wall that borders his small town, entering a magical realm where he gets more than he bargained for. And as for a movie adaptation of a novel, it was executed very well, giving the novel a very happy ending without it being overly happy and cheesy. No, the movie had all the elements and flair of what makes a good romance/adventure film. There was comedy, brilliant special effects and amazing casting. Cox was just brilliant, he was charming and clueless at the same time but also very enigmatic all combined into one very nice package. But what made his performance amazing was the growth of his character throughout the film and how well he was able to capture the growth of the character. He’s so simple in the beginning, not pathetic but he does inspire pity from the audience because of his naivette, but then he becomes strong, brave, self confident, all the attractive elements that make him a wonderful protagonist.
Then we have Claire Danes. Now, I’m not a complete fan of her. Do I like her? Yeah, but I don’t think she’s the greatest actress out there. However, she did a great job with this role. Claire Danes plays Yvaine, the fallen star who also happens to be the North Star. Her chemistry with Charlie is undeniable and makes for a very good romance as far as these two are concerned. They begin as reluctant friends on an adventure then Tristan (Cox) becomes her hero and they turn into friends and then eventually their chemistry unites the characters marking them as believable lovers. Of course, all the best romances begin as friends then evolve. Doesn’t matter though that the story was so well written, in order for it to be successful, the chemistry between the cast has to be there and both actors need to do their parts well in order for the movie to be successful.
Of course, I can’t forget Robert De Niro as the famous pirate, who also happens to be gay? I’m sure gay is the appropriate word for him since he also likes to wear female clothing, but as the ending suggest, he does have an interest in men, so let go with transgender. I hope I’m getting that right, the last thing I would like to do is offend anyone. (Please correct me in the comments if I’m incorrect) But, back on subject. Robert De Niro, as always, displayed a brilliant performance. He’s such a an amazing actor and playing this light and amusing character fit him very well. Or rather, he fit the part very well. To add this sort of character in the film, even today, was a brave move. It wasn’t offensive but rather fun and light. It was honest if anything, but honest in the right ways and highlighted a very strong part of what acceptance should look like from him crew of pirates. It was a well thought out execution and portrayal of the part and the way he was written, and I’m sure I should credit the author on this, was done very well.
Then there is the effervescent Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia, Dark Queen of the Witches. Watching this woman act is always a treat. Seeing her play evil in a comedic way, also very awesome. She is Michelle Pfeiffer after all and her love of acting shines with every project she does. She’s an evil witch queen and even ugly and old, she’s dangerous. Everything about her is spooky and one just has to love that about her. She is amazing, end of discussion.
At the end of the day though, it’s the story that really shines. No pun intended. The story was a solid story. The pace is very fast in the beginning since it’s only purpose is to lay the foundation of the story, but it eventually slows down in order to bring to story to life and introduce these characters to the audience. But, it’s not slow either, and that’s what keeps it interesting, the fact that it doesn’t drag. It’s light, and funny but also very gruesome and dark. That’s what I love about it though. It’s a romance film with adventure, heart, and a ton of laughs.
Catch it on Netflix while you still can, it’s worth it.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Screenplay by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
Based on Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Starring: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Jason Flemyng, Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, Peter O’Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer & Robert De Niro