Kingdom of Heaven
Kingdom of Heaven is a fictionalized epic adventure about the 12th century Crusades. The story follows a troubled blacksmith named Balien (Orlando Bloom) who seeks forgiveness and redemption in the holy city of Jerusalem. After inheriting a noble title in the Holy Land, Balien finds himself thrust into the raging political and religious conflicts over the city of Jerusalem. The dying King Baldwin (Edward Norton) attempts to maintain a tenuous peace with the Muslim warlord, Saladin (Ghassan Massoud). Other nobles led by the apparent heir to the throne, Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas), believe that it is the Christian’s duty to rid the Holy Land of the Muslim infidels. Siding with the frail king, Balien must choose whether to do “a little evil” by plotting against Lusignan so as to become the next king himself or to serve Lusignan with a clear conscience and defend Jerusalem at war. Also starring Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons.
Director Sir Ridley Scott (Blackhawk Down, Gladiator, Hannibal) really knows how to make an epic film. Just like he did with Gladiator, Scott creates a film where one man becomes a hero due to his own inner strength, character, and circumstances. Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings, Blackhawk Down, Troy, and Pirates of the Caribbean) plays Balien, the lead character in “Kingdom Of Heaven.” He does a wonderful job and I’m sure he will receive critical acclaim for his skillful acting. The film draws you in from the beginning when Balien is paid a visit from the father he never knew. His father, Godfrey of Ibelin (Liam Neeson), invites Balien to come with him to Jerusalem to protect the king. Balien refuses but circumstances and his desire to be cleansed of his sins prompt him to fulfill his destiny in Jerusalem. Just like in Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven is filled with brutally graphic battle scenes. For this reason Dove cannot award the film the Dove Seal.