Tales from Persia

Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Dastan- the adopted prince, is probably the best thing about Prince of Persia. Dastan’s character seemed reminiscent of Disney’s Aladdin. His ‘street rat’ fervor, his ability to ‘dodge’ royal guards, and his heroism in the marketplace rescue- did anyone else see the resemblance to the street fight Aladdin has in the 2D Disney animation from 1992? Dastan has a very pretty smile- the first few seconds in the movie he appears, his character totally wins you over, and you keep waiting for that smile to come again, along with one of those solo-action, slow motion sequences. Then, there were those Hasassins- although they were quite annoying at parts, they still had some pretty cool moves with the whips and the metal stakes- they made quite formidable enemies.
The technicalities, for instance, the direction, cinematography, graphics and special effects were all quality- they were good. There is a little list however, of all the stuff that was pretty bad… [SPOIIER ALERT]
1)Princess Tamina
Was she the regal princess we saw in the beginning of the movie? Or was she the spoilt, talentless, annoying, shrieky damsel-in-distress? Unfortunately, she was the latter for the better part of the movie. And what was the point of her being chosen as the guardian when she obviously did not even have standard fighting capabilities? What a way to let all women down- her sword wielding was pathetic, the only moments she managed to run away she did such a shoddy job of it, and as far as protecting the Dagger- well, she couldn’t do that anyway and ended up dying instead.
2) The secret sanctuary of Guardians
Let’s see, the point of appointing guardians is so that the thing they are protecting remains safe from getting into the wrong hands. However, this specific guardian colony was pretty bad- apart from their obvious disability to choose a guardian (they chose Tamina), they pretty much did not have any fighting skills or an army or force of some sort that could actually fight. I wonder why they thought taking the Dagger to the secret sanctuary would protect it when it wasn’t much of a secret or much of a sanctuary.
3) The storyline
You could tell that the theme was picked up from a video game- the characters were lacking on backgrounds and development- all except Dastan and most of that was because of the superb acting. Same goes for Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina who made up for the ‘blah’ character development through really excellent acting. I would have really liked to know more about those guardians of the Dagger though, that really irks me. Or maybe some history about Alamut, as that was the focal point of the movie.
4) Concept art
Lastly, I think the concept art could have been better. The Sandglass is one big, burning sandglass, funnily enough. It couldn’t have been something less literal? The Dagger too is pretty mysterious- what did the inscriptions on it mean again? Well, we don’t know. I don’t think the writers know.
So once again what we have here is a pretty great theme for a movie, botched up just like other so-called epics- Transformers, for instance, that nobody will remember it a month down the timeline, except maybe for Alfred Molina and Jake Gyllenhaal- destiny, anyone?
Images courtesy of Disney.
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