(This is the tenth of my reviews for the Period Drama Challenge.)
It's 1800 and something, and a curious boy in Wall, England wants desperately to explore the other side of a mysterious wall that's meant to protect the townspeople from a strange land. Dunstan Thorn bolts past the old man who guards the wall one night, and meets a beautiful woman. After his one little adventure, he returns home to live a normal life. Several months later, his baby son arrives at his door. His name is Tristan.
Tristan grows up to be even more adventurous than his father. He sees a star fall into the land beyond the wall, and promises it to the girl that he loves. When he finds the star in the magical kingdom of Stormhold, it's actually a lovely young woman named Yvaine. Also searching for the Star are three hideously ugly, old witches who want to eat her heart to restore their youth, and the remaining sons of the lately departed king who want to claim their individual right to take the throne by reclaiming royal necklace which flew and knocked her out of the sky.
Tristan (Charlie Cox) is a sweet, gentlemanly young man, with a touch of silly fool. He's a little bit goofy, but with a totally good heart - a completely loveable hero for the story. He grows up nicely during the course of his adventure. And his hair looks a lot better later, too.
|See? I told you his hair looks better later.|
Yvaine (Claire Danes) is funny and charming. Her ethereal looks make her perfect for the part of a living Star. At first she's a little sarcastic and cross, but that's understandable considering she'd just been knocked out of the sky by an enchanted royal necklace, and then bowled over by Tristan. "... this is where is got hit by a magical, flying moron!" I don't know if it was just the British accent, but I found that line amusing. She quickly becomes sweet and friendly.
Of the three witch sisters, the one who draws the "straw" to chase down the fallen Star is Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer). She eats what remains of the last Star to become (almost) beautiful and young (ish) for the journey to find and kill Yvaine.
|Lamia (middle) preparing for her journey with her two sisters.|
The seven princes, in their fight for the crown, have almost all been murdered, and their ghosts are sitting around watching the progress of the remaining princes, much like it's a show. They are hilarious, although a little disturbing, since they appear exactly how they looked when they died...
Most notable amongst the princes are Secundus (Rupert Everett) and Tertius (Mark Heap, "Thomas" in Larkrise to Candleford), Primus (Jason Flemyng, who is in Great Expectations as "Joe" - can't wait to see it!) and Septimus (Mark Strong).
Rounding out the fairytale are the appearance of a beneficent unicorn, and sky pirates who capture lightening. Captain Shakespeare makes a show of bravado for his crew, but really has a kind side, and helps Tristan and Yvaine as much as he can. As Tristan and Yvaine near the wall, and the end of Tristan's quest to bring back a star for the spoiled girl in his hometown, it seems like more than one week has passed in his life, he has changed so much.
This is a fun movie with plenty of good silliness and laughs. There are a few gross out scenes that I don't really like, and a couple of slightly inappropriate spots, but overall it's a cute story with a unique plot, full of adventure, sweet moments and complete with a fairytale happily-ever-after.