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Agora

Agora

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Jem


My heart has never been more broken. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie so powerfully moving, so absolutely heartbreaking, so consuming in its storytelling.


It was like my heart broke and then KEPT BREAKING into smaller pieces. How long has it been since we've had a movie so constantly changing, developing, conflicting? A movie that gets better at every turn? Where you think OMG IT CAN'T GET ANY BETTER and then it totally does?!

I haven't been this torn and conflicted over a good story since The Red Tent. I haven't seen a movie that wasn't predictable, that didn't overexpose, that didn't have a hair out of place in its perfection since I dont know when. The sets! The costumes! Costumes are wonderful in this piece -- making clear statements without being annoying and flashy. And they're *beautiful*. The whole thing is gorgeous.

Watching these characters change is incredible. Hypatia herself is the only constant -- but the men around evolve and mature on their different journeys, and it's absolutely fascinating. The character I loved at first I ended up hating, the one I hated in the beginning turned out to be my favorite, and the guy I just thought was annoying became a super hottie in the second half. Everybody gets new haircuts and costumes in the middle of the movie. Also, a bromance pops up out of nowhere and is completely awesome. It includes a forehead-touch/hug of squeeful joy.

This film has so much to say about people and religion and society and time. That conflicts of faith are not about belief, but about being right. Hypatia steps passively to the side of the fight. She alone champions nonviolence and is constantly searching for new ideas, new theories -- open to new ways of thinking and seeing things. Later in the film a council member says, "Why should this assembly accept the counsel of someone who admittedly believes in absolutely nothing?" and Hypatia answers, "I believe in philosophy." This declaration is one of the most profound in the whole film. A woman before a council of men, defending logic and tolerance, and she gets laughed at. HEARTBREAK. HEARTBREAK.

The film also addresses Hypatia's role as a master astronomer in a world where to be female is to be an object of desire. There is a particularly powerful scene where Hypatia rejects her feminity in front of her students. She is a true scholar, the kind who would jump out of a bathtub for a new idea, and is uninterested in the good looking guys that desire *her*. A MOVIE ABOUT A WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE INTERESTS, GUYS. HOW AMAZING.

I want to say more but I don't even know how to. The destruction of the Serapeum (library). The relationship between masters and slaves. The mercy of a dignified death. The love between friends. The concession to ignorace. The desire for power. The feelings that must remain unspoken. The line that cannot be crossed. The fight that is already won. Everything is treated with amazing precision in portrayal and filming. I love every actor and every costume choice, every line in the script. You guys KNOW how picky I am. Considering how long I've waited for this movie (two years!) you'd think it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I am mindblown. This one is really special.

I am not doing a very good job of conveying the epicness of this movie, and I don't want to spoil anything for my flist, so for the rest I will only say OMG WATCH IT. And then come squee with me.
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    • Hi hi! Omg, I absolutely LOVE everything you said and I totally would have given this comment proper attention if finals hadn't been chewing me alive!

      Holy fangirl, this movie IS too smart for Americans, you are so right! I felt the same way with every plot turn. Like, when I watched it I was so blown away by every scene that I kept having this compulsion to rewind because I couldn't believe the level of awesome. "OMG DID THAT JUST HAPPEN THAT WAY? I CAN'T BELIEVE IT I NEED TO WATCH AGAAAAAAIN. THIS IS SO GOOD. *HOW* IS THIS *THAT GOOD*?"

      DAVUS. I love his character and the AMAZING way they portrayed his journey and the way his conflict comes across through the screen. My heart! But... even though he sort of redeems himself at the end (and the flashbacks are TOO ADORABLE, HAIR RUFFLING!) I can't help but kind of hate him for choosing cowardice, even if there are a monster of factors battling against him and it's a completely understandable struggle. God this movie makes me so conflictedddddddd. Orestes is the one that just KILLS ME. He totally loves and *gets* Hypatia and even if it's not reciprocated he still just wants her around because he *accepts* her, and the way he chooses Christianity as a means of survival and THAT ~MOMENT AT THE END. HYPATIA CUPS HIS FACE AND TELLS HIM THAT EVEN IF HE WANTS TO KEEP FIGHTING, CYRIL HAS ALREADY WON. I DIEDDDDD, I CANNOT EVEN.

      Word. Best movie about ellipses EVER. I've been watching clips as I write this and crying all over again, GOD. SUCH PERFECTION. <333333
  • I can't really talk about this yet. My eyes keep leaking tears unexpectedly, like, they stop, and I uncurl from my den of sorrow and pain and love, and then a minute later there's shit trickling down my face again.

    But.

    The character I loved at first I ended up hating, the one I hated in the beginning turned out to be my favorite, and the guy I just thought was annoying became a super hottie in the second half.
    100% agreement. Idk if I actually hate Davus in the end or not, though. It's hard to hate him when even Hypatia constantly dismisses him (omg a main character who is sympathetic and kickass but MINDLESSLY SUPPORTS SLAVERY WTF MY BRAIN IS DEAD. DEAD. I LOVE THE SPANISH), and then Cyril (or was that Ammonius? pre-bishop Cyril is confusing) shows him the positive side, the acceptance of all side, and I just...I don't hate Davus, I just hate the world that put him in that position, and I hate a lot of his decisions.

    Orestes....I can't even. Apart from Hypatia and Aspasius, he's my favorite, I think. Even when he disappoints at the end, I love him, because other than Hypatia he is the only one I really see fighting at all for some sort of real peace and equality.

    Synesius turns into a bit of a dick, but he also proves that men of God are gorgeous, so.

    Oh look, I said I couldn't talk about it but then I did. Funny how that works.

    But seriously. I want everyone to see this movie, and then if they cannot see how the exact same thing applies RIGHT NOW, the world is full of idiots and I'm moving to Alexandria.
    • <33333333

      I am SO happy you finally saw it! I mean, I was pushing it really hard but you *get* it now -- I felt exactly the same way after, that despite being a period flick it is so incredibly relevant. And SO AFFECTING. I was walking around in a legit daze after, and even in my most obsessed phases that never happens! This movie feels so ~important, you know? I want to make everyone watch it, no matter how ferocious they may be.

      In my fangirl heart, I hate Davus -- even though I know he was enormously affected by outside factors and that he's the underdog in the film more than anyone else. My mind tells me that his journey was fabulously developed with pitfalls and choices and desperation but also adorableness (hair ruffling!!) but the weepy fangirl in me hates him for helping destroy the Serapeum and trying to go for Hypatia, even though he redeemed himself as well as he could in the end, and even though his storyline was *really* emotive. God! When he cries because he can't bear to take advantage of Hypatia! My heaaaaaaaaaart.

      But yeah, of course Orestes is my favorite. I love how we get to see him grow and how close they still are years later -- HE STILL LOVES HER OMG BUT KEEPS IT ON THE DL BECAUSE HE UNDERSTANDS HER. (This is possibly comparable to the way Teddy is with Owen.) I adore how he and Synesius suddenly put away all their tension from youth when they meet again as adults! GROWTH OMG. The forehead touch! Also, when Synesius visits after he's injured from the stone, and Orestes starts out demanding a pledge of loyalty from him, but Synesius turns it around and gets Orestes to pledge to his faith instead -- GOD THAT SCENE BREAKS ME. Also, WHAT A DIFFERENT A HAIRCUT MAKES. HOW IS HE SUDDENLY GORGEOUS/EFFORTLESSLY PULLING OFF THOSE ROBES LIKE WHOA. Um, I love movies where all the characters get makeovers.

      Orestes and Hypatia I love too because at the end there, they have a bit of a Lucian vibe, and their goodbye... gah. There are too many things in this movie that make me weep at the beauty/sadness. But Orestes; younger, naive enough to hope, passionate enough to fight, trusting that truth and goodness can prevail... and Hypatia; older, resigned to the entropy of hate, wise to the ways of corruption, aloof of open desperation... MY HEART. It's that Lucian balance of feeling vs. knowing. WHEN SHE CUPS HIS FACE AND TELLS HIM IT'S ALREADY OVER. WEEEEEEEEP. I like to imagine that Anna was beside her when she walked out into the street. It makes me feel better.

      I AM SUPER PISSED THIS MOVIE ISN'T GETTING ANY ATTENTION IN AMERICA. LIKE WHY ARE THERE NO OSCAR NOMS OR ANYTHING. OR JUST PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT IT. RAAAAAAAAHHH.

      Also crying when you are sick sucks, even for as good a reason as this movie. Yay for antibiotics!
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