Gay Overachieving Warmongers & Their Myths
I recently heard Oliver Stone talk about wanting to recut this film, after two different versions have already released. Just what is it that drew him to this, and more importantly what is sabotaging it?
Well, the film is a mess and a half. Long, and many irrelevant scenes and endless exposition from a minor character, as well as from the principal people, make this a hard film to watch. It’s a history lesson from an old Greek, and it’s melodrama amped up to eleven. It’s got exciting battles, but these are undermined by endless speeches and I’m not quite sure Colin Farrell was the right actor for the job.
Stone chose to include many scenes that should have been cut, and failed to include other developments that would have fleshed out the story better. Alexander ends up inhabiting a pretty low spot on the director’s filmography.
Perhaps Alexander’s homosexuality made him an interesting character for a certain time and place today. As gayness is opened up and more acceptable than before, the original larger than life gay character should have had his opportunity to make inroads. Not sure of the lgbt cult status, but that may have been a part of the calculus.
I actually liked Angelina Jolie and her strained accent, as Alexander’s witchy mother. Only, I didn’t like many of the specific scenes, how they were filmed, staged. It seemed clunky and inconsistent. Part of it shows like prime time TV, and other parts like a psychedelic experience. I’d prefer the latter, but it’s indicative that more than the appearance was inconsistent.
Anthony Hopkins’ endless monologue should have met with some whiteout. His entire character lacks any development for the entirety of the film, excepting the final scene. But it’s not just his monologues, as Alexander and several others also go on and on at length, dropping the tension and the plot right out of the chariot.
The Source Family, an actual talking head documentary was more visually interesting and suspenseful, always telling the story through visuals and leaving the talking heads behind. Stone seems to have drank his own Kool Aid on this one, substituting a history lesson for drama. But even as history, there are large gaping holes in Alexander’s development. So much isn’t included, making it frustrating when the stuff that is included lags.
Perhaps readers may expect me to compare the film to Caligula, as my review of it still draws a good number of readers here. There is no comparison. Caligula is a total masterpiece up against this psychobabbling, over the top payday. Sorry, Oliver.
This battle was lost at the script stage. And no recut can salvage that. Let it go.