Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Legend (1985) review

Legend (1985)
Legend Poster art
 Legend is a fantasy film directed by Ridley Scott in 1985 and stars Tom Cruise as Jack o’ the Green, Mia Sara as Princess Lily and Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness. The story tells the tale of how The Lord of Darkness wants to stop the sun from rising and so sends his goblin minions to steal the horn of a unicorn. A quest begins as Jack and Lily tries to stop this from happening and goes to retrieve the horn taken from the dead unicorn.
The mystical fantasy land

The film’s fantasy design set in a mystical land where unicorns, goblins, fairies and elves roam, warm and vibrant colours used to reflect this, as described by Roger Ebert, “Earth itself is a sylvan place, filled with flowers and little glades and grassy clearings - but also with dread swamps and mouldy fens” (Ebert, 1986). The makeup design for the Lord of Darkness (played by Tim Curry) as a Darkness Lord standing huge with , with red skin and eyes with massive bulls horns and a butt chin, along with a voice that suited the character really well that his portrayal of this became successful. “And Curry not only manages to make his voice match the power inherent in that character, but he also acts even though they've pretty much replaced his entire body” (Widge, 2005)
Tim Curry's portrayal of The Lord of The Darkness

The plot line like many other film plot lines starts off with a young princess Lily (Mia Sara) who hangs around with a forest boy, Jack (Tom Cruise) who foolishly causes havoc as she touches the unicorn only to end up having the unicorn killed by the goblins which the two protagonists didn’t see. Going with the “end of the world” time bomb, both characters go after the horn and the princess who tried to make things right only to have made it worse after being succumbed to the darkness. Though the visual designs were successful, the film lacked drama such as the scene where one of the henchmen falls into the darkness, he exclaims “Adios! Amigos!” ruining the dramatic moment. “He (Scott) uses production design, costumes, lighting, and makeup to suggest a sumptuous world of magic and wonder, but he cannot quite embrace the simple morality of the fairy tale form. Instead, he undercuts it with cheap jokes and modern vernacular in the dialogue.” (Biodrowski, 2009).

It is slightly hinted that Scott wanted to experiment with different film genres, in particular in this film dark themes within fairy tales, similar to The Company of Wolves as Scott had been reading fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm, but didn’t go too dark according to Biodrowski, “Scott seems afraid of trespassing too far from the PG rating.” Therefore this is perhaps what made this film lose its dramatic climax.

List of Illustrations:
Scott, R (1985) Legend poster art (online):
http://www.egyptfans.net/86525-legend-1985.html - (accessed on 18/11/11)

Scott, R (1985) The mystical fantasy land (online):
http://enchantingimagery.tumblr.com/post/7090587263 - (accessed on 18/11/11)

Anomaly, (2011) Tim Curry's portrayal of The Lord of The Darkness (online):
http://anomalyx.blogspot.com/2011/10/most-underrated-movies-ever-these-are.html - (accessed on 18/11/11)

Biodrowski, S (2009) Legend (1985) – Retrospective Film & DVD Review (online):
http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/2009/05/legend-1985-retrospective-film-dvd-review/  - (accessed on 18/11/11)

Ebert, R (1985) Legend (online):

Widge (2005) Legend (1985) - DVD Review (online):

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