Saturday, August 25, 2007

Stardust



Neil Gaiman's work always gets lodged into my head for a good few weeks after reading it, infiltrating my dreams, affecting my speech... you know, the typical.Therefore, since I had just finished Stardust the night before seeing the movie, it was not only fresh in my head, but I hadn't given myself proper time to mourn the loss of another finished masterpiece. It would have been like drinking an entire bottle of champaigne, feeling ill from overdosing on something that, in its acceptable dosage, would have been otherwise delicious and amazing.

That being said, any time I see a movie after reading the novel, I'm usually disappointed in the latter. But that wasn't the case with Stardust. This movie was spectacular and so wildly different from the book, it was like an entirely separate story altogether. Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn had adapted the book into a screenplay, with Matthew Vaughn as the director. At first I was apprehensive seeing how far the adapted screenplay had strayed from its source. But as the movie progressed and wove its new story lines, I was just as glued to the screen as I was each page of the book; I had absolutely no idea what was coming next.

Claire Danes was a perfect choice for Yvaine, the star, as she naturally glows on screen without the need of visual effects. Additionally, Charlie Cox was a perfect choice for Tristan: handsome, but invariably awkward when he needs to be. Overall the acting was wonderful despite Claire's propensity to lose focus momentarily breaking that suspension of disbelief. Luckily that hardly happened in this piece. Michelle Pfeiffer made for a beautiful and grotesque Lilim queen, and Robert DeNiro surprised me as a "flopping" (also known as "flaming" to those of us not from the realm of Faerie) buccaneer. Finally, tying it all together is the omniscient narration driven by the soothing voice of Ian McKellen.

Neil Gaiman created a dark, terrifying and glorious world in his novel Stardust. A domain I'd certainly like to cross The Wall into, visit the marketplace, and maybe settle into a flying ship to spend the rest of my days. Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn did a magnificent job transforming Gaimans words for the screen. Though different, absolutely none of the magic was lost.

-Janis Acampora

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