Sunday, August 06, 2006

Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World
2003 -- Rated PG-13
Director: Peter Weir
Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany

   One of my many loves is the ocean and anything to do with the ocean, be it sailing, swimming, diving, fishing... it doesn't matter, I've got salt in my blood. Add to that the appeal of a swashbuckler and it's got to be a winner in my book. But Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World goes so much further than just a swashbuckler or sailing movie, it introduces the past to the present in a way few films can. Based on the series of novels by the late author Patrick O'Brian, the film is actually a masterful melding of two of O'Brian's stories, the first in the series, Master and Commander and the eleventh, Far Side of the World.

    The film covers the life aboard a Royal Navy ship captained by Jack Aubrey played to perfection by Russell Crowe. Also in the ships company is Paul Bettany who once again teams up with Crowe as the ships doctor Dr. Maturin. Master and Commander does on film what O'Brian did on paper. An erudite writer, O'Brian captures the nuances of life onboard ship, nuances that Crowe and company beautifully capture on film, whether it be the almost poetic language of the time or the conscription of boys to serve in the Royal Navy. Master and Commander is without a doubt the most serious and deliberate work to ever emerge concerning life at sea.

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