Friday, November 16, 2007

Hwaet the hell?

Frankly, I think the three word title of this post is all the review Beowulf the Movie needs: it avoids spoilers and it perfectly expresses my disappointment in the movie as both a movie and an adaptation of Beowulf the poem. (It also features a weird mixture of Old and Modern English, as did Grendel's and Grendel's Mother's dialogue. Though my post title is missing Angelina Jolie's weird Transylvanian accent.)

But actually, I do want to say more -- I just don't have the energy at the moment and will have to save it until tomorrow. Since I'm sure there will be many other reviews across the medieval blogosphere, I'm also sure you're not waiting with 'bated breath for mine. But to distinguish mine, I think I'll focus on the movie's treatment and adaptation of the female characters. Believe it or not, there are actually *fewer* significant female roles in the 21st century movie than in the 6th-11th century (choose your preferred date) poem, and the poem gives them more dignity and importance than the movie. More tomorrow.

In the meantime, I leave you with one of my students' responses. This particular student is writing her honor's thesis with me on Grendel's Mother, Judith, and Elene. When I asked her what she thought, she said, totally deadpan:

There were moments that I thought were kind of interesting...but I'm still trying to figure out how to work Grendel's Mother's stilettos into my thesis.

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