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The Four Feathers

Starring: Heath Ledger, Kate Hudson, Djimon Hounson and Wes Bentley
Directed By: Shekhar Kapur
Rated: PG13 - For violence
Based on the novel by A.E.W. Mason

 

The Four Feathers is the first true Epic of the millennium! It is amazing and beautiful. There's hardly a flaw within its colossal celluloiud capsule. We follow a man learn the truth about himself and his honor as a strange past world is brought to life before us in this obviously spectacular endeavor by director Shekhar Kapur, cast and crew.

It's 1875. Master Harry Feversham (Heath Ledger) is a popular guy in his little British society world. He's great at sports, super swell on the retina (in a pompous "tea my lady?" way), and he's a top soldier in the Queen's army that would die to protect his friends in battle.

Or so they all think.

When a true battle breaks out in the Sudan and the British army of yesteryear is called upon to save the Queen's name. It is a call to arms. Harry has a mental meltdown. He thought he would ride his days out in the army without any need to actually put to use this intensive jolly good fun training…

Now they expect him to go and kill and be killed for what he sees merely as a baren dismal chunk of desert? He thinks not.

See, Harry's just become engaged to the beautiful Ethne (Kate Hudson). He wants to make babies and darn socks not leave and die.

Desert the desert gig he thinks. Resign and all will be okay. Ah, but he is the general's son. His love, Ethne, is a dead hero general's daughter. Then there's his friends. They worship him and believe the sun doesn't have nerve to rise till he waves his gifted hand towards it. Still he must do what he feels. But will he get his just desert for deserting the desert or a pleasant dessert?

He resigns.

His friends freak out, he freaks out his beloved freaks out. The only one who truly doesn't desert Harry is his best friend and regimen buddy, Jack (Wes Bentley). Jack looks crushed at the "cowardice" but still believes in Harry. Sniff.

Jack heads off to the Sudan to fight and still wonders if Harry is alright...

Discraced and shunned Harry is left utterly alone and discarded by those who cannot understand what the H-E- double hockey sticks he's thinking. It is an honor to be bludgeoned for one's country after all. How could he refuse?

But when Harry hears the area his old chums are stationed in is under a particularly deep poopie attack, he decides he must go to the Sudan and try to help, not as a soldier, but as a concerned British citizen. Somehow he will help.

Okay he's not too bright. But what he lacks in fore thought he makes up for in determination and resilience.

While crossing the desert he meets up with an enigmatic warrior fellow named Abou (Djimon Hounson). Abou is a strong man with strong beliefs. Beliefs very different from Harry, but still they share a friendship as both are riddled with honor and integrity. His meeting this rough (conveniently English speaking) warrior may very well be the best thing that's ever happened to this hero in-the-making.

The Four Feathers is simply about a man searching for truth about himself. A man learning to be a hero comes from inside and not because you've been ordered to be one.
Self-doubt dance among the waves of bravery that will ultimately lead Harry into two battles, one against the enemy and one against himself.

Heath ledger is proving himself to be a little powerhouse. Of course my lip curls uncontrollably into a full snarl when I hear that putrid A Knight's Tale fiasco brought up in conversation - what were they thinking? But with his exact performance in Monsters Ball and the old role, which got me -a-noticing-him in 10 Things I Hate About you I think it is time to forgive Heath and toss his Film La Poo A Knight's Tale into the pile of live-and-learn. His Harry character is well rounded and delivered with an Oscar glimmer behind it. He's aging lovely too. Yes siree Bob Heath's filling out and forming into quite a manly man of extreme proportions. Did ya know he's yet another Australian import ( Perth)? I think some one should bottle their water and force feed it to our boys here…

Wes Bentley, who is just mesmerizingly handsome in a quirky jump-on-him-like-a -rabid-Rhesus monkey way has got the most beautiful eyes on screen. And he's needs them. He's not given many lines but with the power behind those lookers words are frivolous accessories. You may remember Wes as the quirky continually filming neighbor in American Beauty. He stole every scene with stillness and an aura- it's the same here.

Kate Hudson is cut of another time and as the elegant Ethne she just exuded subtle glamour. Kate's proving herself as a second-generation natural talent ( she's the daughter of chickbabe extraordinaire Goldie Hawn). The chemistry between her and Heath made his character's journey to self worth believable and compelling.

Djimon Hounson plays the fierce warrior with intesity and a surging power. A wonderful inspiring charcter portrayed by a wonderful steady actor.

The actors are not the real stars of The Four Feathers though; it is the cinematography the stunning costumes and the pristine sets. And no wonder the film's exquisite. The team behind the the fore mentioned beauty are none other than Robert Richardson, Ruth Myers and Allan Cameron. They're all the cream of the design crop.

Sure there are some far-fetched fallacies freckled into the script - but it's an epic. And the impeccable sets and monstrous battle scenes converge with a stellar cast to make this one film to add to the vault. Get out and see this if you're into good-old-fashioned epic making at its finest! Bravo.

Lawrence of Arabia's 40th Anniversary re-release opens today as well so you have epic Sahara -camel-manly men in foreign land choices to make. Both are breathtaking!

Snack recommendation: Hummus, pita and bottled water.

The soundtrack is gorgeous too. Visit the Official Site for more info

 

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