Projections - Movie Reviews

The Messenger

1999 has not been a good year for organized religion in film as displayed by Stigmata, Dogma and now The Messenger.

A traditional story of Joan of Arc, The Messenger is a film of huge proportions.  It is comprised of a huge cast not only in numbers but in talent.  This talent includes Milla Jovovich who stars as Joan, John Malkovich as Charles VII as well as Faye Dunaway as the mother in-law and Dustin Hoffman in a very unique roll.  The scenes of the countryside are huge and as well as the battles.

Milla Jovovich, of The Fifth Element fame, is impressive as Joan of Arc.  Her ability to show the conviction of Joan was wonderful and her ability to handle the heavy armor and swords proves her dedication to the craft.  She delivers in all aspects of this roll.

John Malkovich as Charles VII  is clearly out of his league when sharing screen time with Faye Dunaway and even Jovovich.  His performance is hollow by comparison to everyone else.

Faye Dunaway as the mother in-law of Charles has a presence that few actors or actresses possess today.  From her eyes to the posture to the way she delivers her lines, Dunaway has the ability to capture the very soul of her characters and this is no exception.

Dustin Hoffman is cast in a truly unexpected roll as Joan's conscience.  His interpretation of this roll was perfect.

There is much symbolism in this film and it is done well.  The battle scenes are magnificant even if a bit gory.  The attention to detail in the weaponry, armor and clothing of the period was an unexpected treat.  Do not be fooled into thinking this film is a walk in the park.  It is an intense and gory battle film in places and may not be for the weak of stomach.  It is, however, a good film compared to the other offering being released.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Avg.
The Messenger
B-
 
C+
B-
B-
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