Movie Review #2975: POMPEII
Doco movie based not so much based on the AD79 eruption of Vesuvius which wiped the city off the face of the planet, but on the myths and legends depicted in the artworks excavated from the ruins. Particular emphasis is placed on reenacting some of these scenes with quite creative abandon, all while narrated by Italy’s favourite thespian-ess, Isabella Rossellini. It also raises visibility of and focuses on the pagan and associated hedonistic lifestyles of the inhabitants, and as per most Roman cities of the time, demonstrates just how deep such beliefs and practices were entrenched.
I remember when in Pompeii in 2011 being very aware of the sexual symbolism all around and finding it particularly disturbing, especially the way women were depicted. Which brings me how to review this movie: the cinematography is beautiful and commentary exquisite. The dramatics are also quite extraordinary, yet it wasn’t the movie I was expecting to see. Unfortunately or otherwise, I have little interest in Roman mythology and while it was somewhat interesting, I was hoping to see a greater emphasis on both the geological and the human aspects of the event.
Given that the production was so vastly superior to any another doco I’ve seen on Pompeii, I found it overall quite disappointing. However, if I rated according to my expectations not being reasonably met, I think I would be doing the makers a gross disservice as it is superbly made. So, for this reason I won’t put a number on it and merely suggest that if you go to see it, make sure you understand first what it’s all about.
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since, I've been mesmerized by the giant screen, and the darkness that went on forever. Despite the infernally uncomfortable seats, (plus having to stand for God Save the Queen), I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism.