Wednesday, May 20, 2015

movie; River Queen

I've been doing research on the Maori wars of the mid-1800s. These were the battles fought between Maori New Zealand natives and the British colonizing forces. It all sounds far too familiar - forcing people off their lands to appease settlers, miners and other greedy people. Maori fought Maori, too, as some tribes considered allying with the British as their best option.

Thanks to Jim Cornelius' review of River Queen, I thought it would be a good way to get some feel for the era.

You should read Jim's review, it's short and to the point.

As with many such movies, it is not about the war specifically, but about the people caught in the middle. But there are combat and battle scenes, and those alone are worth a viewing if you are a military history buff and you don't know much about these conflicts.

My take away; it had great visuals, and excellent battle scenes. It especially highlights the rugged NZ forests that made the fighting a hard slog.

On the other hand, the main narrative was all over the place and got worse near the end of the movie. It felt like scenes were strung one after another without a polish to pull them all together. I felt like some scenes were almost out of order, and quickly reworked to fit the new order. More and more characters started vying for the story's attention, too.

There was too much use of voice over. Never a good sign. On top of that, the sound was muddy. I finally turned on captions, though I am usually all right discerning accented dialog.

River Queen is a decent historical drama with some nice visuals and battles, but it's a bit of a jumble. It's one of those movies I wish I could like a bit more than I did.

1 comment:

  1. That era is certainly interesting, with parallels to America's history. I should do more reading in that area