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This 'Beowulf' leaves much to be desired, leaves little to imagination

Movie review

Movie review

November 20, 2007|By HANNAH TUSSING / Pulse Corespondent

Are you thinking of watching the new movie "Beowulf" for your English paper to avoid reading the 3,182-line Old English poem? Well, you wouldn't get an A on that paper! The poem and the movie are drastically different.

I really didn't like the animation. It seemed like a cheap way to do special effects.

If you want to experience the true action and adventure of Beowulf, my suggestion is to read the poem and skip the movie.

Let's compare a couple areas of the story.

Here's some of the story from the poem: King Hrothgar of the Danes builds the mead hall Herot and has many festivities in it. But his celebrating disturbs a horrible monster called Grendel, who attacks the mead hall, killing nearly everyone inside. Fearing to lose anymore lives, the king closes the mead hall until someone or something can rid them of this monster.

Then, Beowulf, a mighty warrior, hears tell of the Danish king's troubles and sets sail with 14 of his bravest men to go rid the hall of Grendel. Beowulf spends the night in Herot and decides to fight the monster without his chain mail or sword. He tells his men, "I want God to determine this match. If I should win, good, but if the monster prevails, it is God's will and let his name be praised no matter if I win or die."

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Then Grendel comes, hungry for blood. He devours one of Beowulf's men before Beowulf holds the demon in his grasp and tears off his shoulder and arm. Grendel flees to die in his underwater cave. There is much rejoicing in the mead hall that night and Beowulf is richly rewarded. But that night, Grendel's mother comes into Herot to avenge her son's death. She kills many a man, but when Beowulf's warriors awake, she flees in terror. Beowulf sets out the following morning to kill the "hell-dam."

Now here is the summary of the movie: The beginning is roughly the same, but instead of just taking off his chain mail and sword, Beowulf wears no clothing to fight Grendel, which is disgusting and doesn't add anything to the story.

After he kills Grendel, Beowulf goes to kill Grendel's mother. But instead of a "hell-dam" Grendel's mother is played by a digitized Angelina Jolie, who is naked, unless you can call gold paint clothing. Instead of killing Grendel's mother, Beowulf has a child with her and lies to his men, saying that he killed her.

There are more discrepancies, and this movie makes a good argument for reading.

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