Review of 'Stardust'

stardust.jpg Tristan is a young man living in an English village beside the mysterious wall. When the object of his affections wishes that he retrieve a star that falls on the other side of the wall in order to woo her Tristan sets out on his journey. What awaits him on the other side of the wall is a fantasy land where the fallen star is actually a women and where fate has landed them both in the middle of a race between brothers for the throne of the kingdom. Did I mention the witch queen that is also seeking the “fallen star” to regain her youth?

An interesting plot with a few surprises leaves the audience guessing what will happen next. The much-talked about camp captain portrayed by De Niro also adds a bit of lightness to a generally fairly serious narrative – and that is one of the problems with this picture: It does not appear to know whether it is a serious fantasy picture or comedy picture. I also found the effects, though impressive, somewhat disappointing and not as good as I would have expected. Having said that, the acting is not that bad with Tristan a bit wooden but believable. I can't say I ever really related to him as the hero of the story though, of course, I did want him to get together with Vvaine rather than Victoria. Claire Danes is refreshing and gives a fantastic performance as the “fallen star” Yvaine who is not as innocent as she appears. The conversion from kidnapped victim to faithful love interest I found a bit hard to believe and quickly forgotten as the story progresses.

While watching the film I could not help feeling that this was an effort by Hollywood to cash in on the summer (though late) movie season and the dollars associated with it. The film has been compared to The Princess Bride but I think that is an unfair comparison as The Princess Bride never took itself half as seriously as this film does. The Princess Bride never pretended to have such spectacular effects nor did it bring in some heavy hitters for it's cast.

Stardust is a refreshingly different take on the fantasy story (in a large part thanks to the wonderful writer, Neil Gaiman) but unfortunately, it is also devoid of a lot of heart. Enjoyable nonetheless.

Rating: “Average, but who wants to be average?”

Review Date: 2007-10-23

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Year: 2007

Length: 130 minutes

Genre: Fantasy

Other reviewed films by Matthew Vaughn: