Film Review: The Count of Monte Cristo

20 11 2010

I don’t really watch Periodic Costume Dramas (Candleford and Cranford), Most of them involve people dressed up in stupid clothes and speaking non punctuated sentences and they don’t speak sense at all. It’s like what Blackadder said to Shakespeare “Do you know how much Suffering you are going to cause”. Well in most cases it’s suffering for the viewer as well. Recently I saw a bit of Les (PANTS) Miserables and I kept telling everyone how it could have been improved: Barry White. It’s a good thing that at least one Periodic Costume Drama is good, that’s because it isn’t a Periodic Costume Drama (I just thought I would make the point).

The Count of Monte Cristo is a marvellous film with a brilliant cast and story. Based on the book by Alexandre Dumas The film stars Jim Caviezel as Edmund Dantès (pronounced Dontez, something like that), a man who wrongly gets put in prison escapes and changes his identity to get revenge on those who put him in prison. Guy Pearce plays the part of Fernand Mondago, Dantès’s best friend and the man who betrays him. Then we have the Fantastic Richard Harris. Before doing this He starred as Albus Dumbledore in the first Harry Potter film, he also did the Second Harry Potter film before he sadly died, the role of Dumbledore went to Michael Gambon who just shouts a lot in the Harry Potter films whereas Harris had a nice calm voice, What was I talking about, OH YES. Richard Harris plays the role of Abbe Faria, a former soldier who helps Dantès.

The story Follows Edmund Dantès who lands on an island with Fernand Mondago, The Island is where Napoleon has been sent, anyone who lands on the island is killed, Dantès and Mondago manage to get help from Napoleon, their ship’s captain had fallen ill and needed Medical Help. Napoleon asks a favour from Dantès, he asks him to deliver a note to someone. Mondago sees this. When back on the Main Land Dantès becomes the ship’s captain and returns to his beautiful fiancé Mercedes. Mondago Jealous of Dantès’s wife betrays him to the authorities. Dantès explains to the magistrate what happened, The Magistrate (Villefort) originally plans to let Dantès go but after hearing the name of the person Dantès was supposed to give the letter to, he changes his mind and sends Dantès off to the Chateau D’if. Dantès manages to escape and runs to Mondago’s house and finds out it was Mondago who set him up. Dantès gets captured and gets sent to the Chateau D’if.

Dantès arrives and is introduced to the warden, Dantès says he is innocent and the warden agrees saying that if he was truly guilty he would go to an official prison, the Chateau d’if is only for the people that the country (France, Forgot to mention that) want out of the way.

Meanwhile back in Marseilles Dantès’s family try to have him released but they later find out that he had been executed. Back at the Chateau D’if Dantès starts to go mad, he spends years in a cell with only a flogging once a year to remind him of the anniversary of when he arrived. One day he meets Abbe Faria when Faria accidentally tunnels into his cell. Faria helps Dantès learn many skills including to read and write, together they build a tunnel to escape, during this time Faria also teaches Dantès how to fight.

One day Faria dies when the tunnel collapses in on top of him. In his last moments he tells Dantès of a Treasure hidden on the island of Monte Cristo and gives him a map of where to find it. Dantès escapes the prison inside the Body bag meant for Faria which gets thrown into the sea; he drags the warden into the sea with him and kills him.

Dantès gets found by smuggler Luigi Vampa who gets him to fight a member of his crew, he wins and spares that man’s life, the man called Jacopo becomes Dantès’s friend. A few months later Vampa allows Dantès to leave with Jacopo, Dantès goes on a fact-finding mission and finds out what happened since his disappearance. Jacopo and Dantès go to Monte Cristo and discover the Treasure of Count Spada who Faria worked for. Dantès decides to use the treasure to get his revenge, but get a very special revenge. He decides to make those who made him suffer, suffer in the same way as him, have their whole lives taken away from them. He becomes The Count of Monte Cristo.

He sets to work making himself looking powerful; he hosts a party to reveal himself to everyone. He starts his plan and forces Mondago to use Danglars Shipping Company, the company he and Dantès used to work for. Dantès later learns that Mondago and his wife Mercedes had a Son, so Dantès asks Vampa to stage a kidnapping. Dantès rescues Albert (the son) and starts to become friends with him. At Albert’s birthday Mercedes believes that The Count is Dantès, Mondago and Villefort plan to steal some of the Count’s treasure, they get Danglars to steal some of the treasure but Danglars gets caught and discovers the true identity of Monte Cristo.

Villefort accidentally tells the authorities what he and Mondago did after telling Monte Cristo not realising that there were some policemen in the room. He is arrested and go’s to prison. Mercedes and Dantès come back together. Dantès then reveals his true identity to Mondago and both Mondago and Albert discover that Albert is the son of Edmund Dantès. Dantès and Mondago have a sword duel which Dantès Wins.

3 Months later Dantès returns to Chateau D’if to pay homage to Abbe Faria, he then leaves with Mercedes Jacopo and Albert.

The Count of Monte Cristo is an extremely good film; one thing that is in its favour is its story. Its story follows the principles you are taught in school, A Beginning, Middle and End. All the best stories follow this same structure, there are many films in cinema to-day which have too many obstacles and don’t allow this structure and can ruin the story. With Monte Cristo you can get into it and not ask too many questions if you get stuck because it is simple. I will explain more on structured story line another time.

This story has a Beginning where you find out about the characters and see what happens to Edmund, A Middle where Edmund escapes prison and sets a plan in motion to get revenge, and an End where Edmund has got his revenge and his life has gone back to normal. That’s what helps the films story, it’s simple.

The Cast for this film were well-chosen, Particular credit has to go to JB Blanc as Luigi Vampa and Richard Harris as Abbe Faria. What needs to be remembered here is that the cast are playing the roles of French People and particular credit has to go out to the cast for pulling it off brilliantly. This includes Alex Norton as Napoleon, Norton is best known for the role of DCI Burke in Taggart. The role of Danglars is played well by Albie Woodington who plays the role like someone you just don’t like, kind of like when Eddie Izzard played Torrence in the recent Day of the Triffids.

The Count of Monte Cristo is very Enjoyable and a lot of Fun to watch. I would recommend you to watch this film. It’s very creative, Fun, Enjoyable, Has a Good Cast and a Good Story that’s is easy to understand and to enjoy. It’s kind of hard to say anything else other than The Count of Monte Cristo is absolutely Fantastic.

GENEPOOL

Off-Topic: I have been trying to decide what to Review Next Month. I would like to do Muppet Christmas Carol but I would also quite like to do The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms as well as the Original Clash of the Titans.

You Choose.

You can Vote for 2 Films.


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4 responses

8 02 2011
CMrok93

A straightforward and beautifully accoutered period piece, rife with technical authenticity and eye-pleasing production values. Good review, check out mine when you can!

19 09 2011
numb3r5s

Your review was very interesting.

GENEPOOL

24 05 2012
Movie Preview: Prometheus « Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] that film). There is also Guy Pearce who seems to be almost appearing in everything, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Road and The Time Machine. But the Big Star for me is the Fantastic Idris Elba (or Big-Dris as […]

20 03 2013
Latest Blog Milestone – Two Hundred And Fifty Posts | Numb3r5s's Blog

[…] Film Review: The Count of Monte Cristo: This was as the title suggests a film review of the 2002 film The Count Of Monte Cristo. I was […]

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