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Jan. 17, 2006

"Tristan & Isolde": Following love against all odds

by Hokuma Karimova, Foreign Desk Editor
The theme of two star-crossed lovers has been told and retold for generations in stories, such as the famous European tale of Romeo and Juliet and a well-known Eastern love story of Leyili and Mejnun. Such a hackneyed topic may come off as tiresome, but the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" perfectly describes this heart-stopping and teary-eyed love story of "Tristan & Isolde."
Tristan (James Franco) and Isolde (Sophia Myles) share a passionate moment before parting.
Tristan (James Franco) and Isolde (Sophia Myles) share a passionate moment before parting.

Kevin Reynolds, known for directing dramatic movies such as "Count of Monte Cristo," brings this medieval Celtic myth about love and suffering into life. In this story a fearless and noble English knight, Tristan (James Franco), falls in love with princess Isolde (Sophia Myles) of Ireland, the country with which England has been at war with for many years.

While the two know their love would only bring suffering and pain to both Ireland and England, they cannot help but give in to their emotions. Nonetheless, when Isolde is forced to marry Lord Marke (Rufus Sewell), Tristan's uncle and best friend, things get complicated. The more Tristan and Isolde try to suppress their feelings for one another in hopes of making them go away, the more their affection strengthens, bringing them inexorably together. They risk everything just for one more moment in each other's arms.

Even though this movie is about love, it is anything but cheesy and boring. "Tristan & Isolde" is packed with action scenes and battles right from the beginning of the movie, when the Irish lead a surprise attack on the English, to the very end, where England tries to defeat Ireland for the final time.

The scenery is another key part in bringing this legendary story to life, making it believable. The rocky cliffs of Ireland and the vast forests of England transport the audience from the 21st century to the medieval times.

One thing that defines this movie as incredible and legendary is the astonishing acting of Franco and Myles. As the major characters of this movie, they not only flawlessly convey the personalities of Tristan and Isolde, but at the same time enable the audience to see why such love stories withstand the power of time and last forever.

"Tristan & Isolde" is comprised of various themes including action, romance and suspense. It is a movie that has it all but most importantly it will leave you with a sense of satisfaction, something that many movies lack.

So grab your friends and all the tissue boxes you can find, and strap yourself for the ride of a lifetime.

"Tristan & Isolde" (125 minutes) is rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexuality.

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  • Sam on January 17, 2006 at 10:15 PM
    I have a suspicion that the movie might not do the folklore justice none of the other Arthurian themed films have so far.
  • YAY (View Email) on January 17, 2006 at 10:21 PM
    woohoo kuma!
  • leprechaun on January 18, 2006 at 1:34 PM
    england'll never beat ireland! NEVER!!!
  • groupie on January 20, 2006 at 9:22 PM
    james franco is quite gorgeous
  • >>><<< (View Email) on January 24, 2006 at 3:33 PM
  • meh on January 26, 2006 at 7:13 PM
    the battle tactics were clever but I didn't like the plot at all. Acting mediocre. Franco should stick to being a revenge driven jerk in Spiderman, but if you like him, then this flick's definately for you. Lots of shirtless scenes.
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