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Old 11-15-2003
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Master and Commander-Far Side of the World (Review)

Russell Crowe provides an exceptional portrayal of the larger than life persona of Capt. Jack Aubrey from the Patrick O''Brien series of books..The film has all the expected scenes of swashbuckling adventure, heroics, and clashing of swords in entrenched battles, but yet it goes deeper into the delicate balance of loyalty between a Captain and his crew. Pursuit of battle and conquest takes a secondary seat to one becoming entranced in the relationship of strength versus intellect that Capt. Jack shares with his best friend, and ship''s surgeon, Steven Maturin. As easily as the two instruments that the men play, the cello and violin, can strike a screeching discord, the friendship is continuously challenged to remain a harmonious duet.

The story line has some of the seemingly unavoidable discontinuity that previous swashbuckling sea adventures have suffered. How did the ship suffer so much damage, but yet was able to sail again faster, and truer the next day,etc?. But even so, these are minor distractions to the strong understood objectives of the ship’s company that the audience is enveloped in.

“Name a bush after me, something prickley and hard to eradicate.” Capt. Jack tells his ships surgeon, and part time naturalist friend Steven. This movie is much like that. From the first scene, your senses are pricked as you witness what seems to be a very accurate portrayal of what life was like for seamen aboard a British Man O War tall ship during the Napoleonic era. You leave the theater wondering where Capt. Jack and crew are going next, and knowing that you want to be there with them.

On a scale of (1-3) TopGallants - (3+)

*** Excellent movie, but the advertisements for it do carry the statement “ some scenes not suitable for young children.” I would totally agree with that. There was a young girl, probably 9 yrs .of age sitting beside me in the theater. The realistic battle scenes in the movie appeared to be quite disturbing to her.
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