Writer/director Oliver Stone has delivered a Thanksgiving turkey, a
over-stuffed historical epic that's arduously slathered with sappy symbolism
and overt homosexuality and spiced with ambition, greed, jealousy, love, pain
and betrayal. There's even a pinch of horse-whispering.
Structured as a history lesson dictated to scribes by Egypt's Ptolemy,
Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) led his armies victoriously against the
Persian empire, west to Egypt and finally made his way to India's Punjab. By
the age of 25, he had conquered almost the entire known world. Above all, he
was a visionary who dreamed of uniting people with a common bond.
In the title role, Colin Farrell never quite wraps around his emotionally
conflicted character. Both his blond wig and his lilting Irish accent prove
disconcerting, as though the lad wandered in en route home from the pub. As his
calculating, snake-fondling mother, Angelina Jolie is bizarre, affecting a
Russian tone; most of her scenes border on ludicrous. Alexander's bride Rosario
Dawson's intonations are almost indecipherable, as is Crateros' Rory McCann's
thick Scottish burr. Val Kilmer fares better as Alexander's warrior father.
Anthony Hopkins and Christopher Plummer are convincing, as is Jared Leto as
Alexander's closest friend and one great love.
The real problem lies with Oliver Stone's lack of a cohesive, thematic
vision. Instead, there's chaotic, spear-rattling, sword-and-scandals bloody
butchery. Stone hammers the homosexuality theme, not only with nudity but also
with many effeminate pretty-boy flirtations. The only truly exciting battle
sequence is in exotic India with elephants. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to
10, "Alexander" is an uninspired, repetitious, tedious 3. What a waste! It's
too difficult to digest.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger