Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I'm Excited About This!

The rest of you can have your Matrix: Revolutions or whatever. I'm psyched about the opening of Master And Commander: The Far Side of the World this weekend!

"Master and Commander" shows every sign of being a real swashbuckling epic. Your best bet for viewing the trailer is here at the Apple trailer page for Master and Commander.

The movie is based on the famous series of Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian. I've read the whole 20-novel series, and these books have made some of the best reading I have ever enjoyed in my life. O'Brian's characters, Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin, are two of most well-drawn characters I have ever encountered in fiction. Set during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century, the whole series rings with believability.

The movie's title comes from the first book of the series:

Master and Commander

The movie is based on the 11th novel in the series,

The Far Side of the World

It appears from the trailer that they take a few liberties with the plot of the novel. (You can read a synopsis of the movie here.) But that's not the sort of thing that bothers me a lot. I'm not one of those people who require slavish duplication of a book by a movie. Indeed, it seems to me that attempts to do so usually fall flat.

What I will be looking for is whether the actors can capture the essence of the wonderful characters that inhabit O'Brian's novels. Even the minor characters are filled out and memorable. That, and whether the film can convey the atmosphere of the stories, and the feel of the time. If the movie can do that, it will be a hit in my book.

And if you're looking for a good read, I can't recommend the Aubrey/Maturin series highly enough!