Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why I disliked Stardust (2007) - the wrong story told

I went to see Stardust yesterday. My reviewer had seen it a few weeks ago, and indeed, her favorable review appears here:

Stardust review by Kristie Groves

I'd also read about the movie on a feminism in science fictin blog, which took issue with the typical stereotypes - the men in the story are going after a kingdom, the women - i.e. Michelle Pfeiffer - just want to be young again... [I had intended to share the link of that blog here as something well worth reading at anytime, but I can't find the link though I thought it had it bookmarked and I don't have time to search for it right now!]

Anyway, for me, the movie was spoiled from the get-go, for a reason that I haven't seen anyone else complain about (not that I've read more than two pieces on it, but still...)

The opening of the movie is a prologue of something that had occurred 18 years before. A young man sneaks through "the Wall" into a magic kingdom, where he meets a woman who is enslaved to a witch. He tries to free her by cutting the silver chain that binds her to the witch's caravan (the witch being absent), but it reforms. The woman will be free only when the witch is dead.

But, she draws the young man into the caravan, they have sex, and nine months later, a baby is delivered through the wall to the young man -- who has returned to his own world -- who raises it. And it is that baby grown to manhood, who is the hero of the story.

And I'm thinking to myself...what the hell? Why was the young woman left a slave to the witch? Why didn't the man do a leetle bit more to try to rescue her - like killing the witch, etc. Why is she left a slave for 18 more years???

Of course she has to be, because it's the boy's desire to see his mother which helps draw him into that world... but still...I was just enraged from the beginning and I never did un-enraged.

As a whole the movie is... all right. An annoying love story, with the hero taught a lesson. I love the Lightning Catching balloon and the Robert DeNiro interlude, Michelle Pfeiffer was certainly having fun and made a good and powerful villainess... but yes, the stereotypes about women were in full force.

And yet... my young reviewer saw nothing of that.... only us middle-aged women do... scary, that!

No comments: