Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World
Three-time Academy Award directing nominee Peter Weir and Oscar winner Russell Crowe join forces to create an epic, emotional adventure. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Based on Author Patrick O’Brien’s series of Aubrey/Maturin novels, the movie is set during the Napoleonic Wars. Russell Crowe is Captain “Lucky” Jack Aubrey, renowned as a fighting captain in the British Navy; Paul Bettany is the ship’s doctor, Stephene Maturin. A superior enemy suddenly attacks their ship, the H.M.S. Surprise. With the Surprise badly damaged and much of his crew injured, Aubrey is torn between duty and friendship as he pursues a high-stakes chase across two oceans, to intercept and capture his foe. It’s a mission that can make his reputation – or destroy Lucky Jack and his crew. In the course of the characters’ epic journey, the movie travels the world: from the coast of Brazil to the storm-tossed waters of Cape Horn, south through ice and snow, to the remote shores of the Galapagos Islands.
This movie brought me back to the days of “Horatio Hornblower” type epics, and all the swash buckling on the high seas. The story is very good, but I wasn’t pulled into the film emotionally: maybe I was seeing this as a “guy flick”. Jack Aubrey had total control over his men and he noticed every aspect of the ship. If a man was out of line, he dealt with it on the spot and all on board saw the action he’d taken. He had a wonderful friendship with the ship’s doctor, and some of the best scenes were when the two of them played classical music together. The counterpoint of the rough men, fighting and bloodletting, to the music they played was lovely! Captain Aubrey misses his wife, Sophia intensely, but this is portrayed with elegant restraint. There are scenes that are almost breath taking: the ship with all sails up, with men and boys silhouetted against the sails, on the all of the cross bars, and many scenes on the Galapagos Islands. This isn’t a movie for young children, due to the realistic fighting and wounds shown on the men. There are no female speaking parts in this movie. Men will enjoy this movie, as well as women, if they enjoy making their men happy, just by going along!