The Diary Game 08/09/2021 - Alexander or The Lesson of Superproduction.
A few seasons ago, men carried power and substance on the big screens. Charismatic men, admired by all. Oliver Stones' epic work on Alexander the Great is three hours long and traces the evolution of the great historical figure. Colin Farrell, blond-haired, plays breathlessly on the tireless conqueror, a slightly effeminate visionary, a strategic genius, master of the largest Empire ever noted in human history, four centuries before Christ.
In Stone's gloomy story we see Alexander coming to power, from his tortured childhood in a very warlike couple, devoured by the gorgonian love of the beautiful mother (Angelina Jolie) and his father's indifference, to his lonely and still mysterious death. .
Stone has created a spectacular, seriously documented film in which Farrell appears as beautiful as the computer-generated Babylonian setting. With considerable pomp are presented the terrible battles with the King of Persia Darius III of Gaugamela in 331 BC. And then the bloody collision of the war between horses and elephants, superbly choreographed, fought with Rajah Porus in 326. The second battle seems to anticipate the counter-culture, already, as the color scheme becomes totally psychedelic ...
All men rise and fall, says a bleached Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy, who recalls his deeds. This sentence is also valid for a large number of directors or protagonists. From JFK to Nixon or The Doors, Stone has built his career with historical figures whose ambitions have become notorious for their spectacular downfalls.
In Alexander, Stone fixed himself on a character who followed the opposite path. He aspired to the expansion of Greek civilization beyond the ends of the known world to the ends of the earth, and he survived every battle. His mother, Olympia, strengthens him from an early age by offering him as toys his famous venomous snakes and provokes his ego by invoking the glory of his mythical ancestor, Achilles. Whether this tortured Oedipal relationship has anything to do with Alexander's fixation on his childhood friend Hephaiston (a black-eyed Jared Lato for whom Elizabeth Taylor allegedly killed Cleopatra in her production) is hardly a fact.
Stone's interest in being objective about Alexander's sexuality was visibly circumvented by the don't ask, don't tell requirements of contemporary sensibility. Consequently, the relationship of this historical couple is communicated through very chaste hugs and passionate looks that give a new meaning to the term protected sex...
However, we can be vaguely grateful to Stone for leaving Hephaiston in the closet after seeing how Alexander treats his first wife, Princess Roxana of Bactria, (Rosario Dawson - the most impressive female physicist after Anita Eckberg ), a mountain girl whom he marries after conquering Persia, in a controversial intention to combine some ancient and barbarian cultures.
The wedding night is bizarre in its carnivorous animality and unintentional racism. Stone knows how to choreograph huge battles, but when it comes to the alcove, something is missing ... We leave the film moving and enlightened in more ways than we would have thought. It is obvious that Stone touched his inner rope by Cecil B. De Mille as well as his rope by Pedro Almodovar, synonymous with his inner Elena that flourishes in the love scenes between Farrell and Jared Leto ...
Farrell appears as a passionate and gorgeous character who can hardly arouse compassion. When Hopkins states at the end of the film that ..he was the most important Alexander ..., we can only take him at his word. The philosophers of the ancient cynical school said of him that once he lost himself, between the feet of Hephaiston.
Beyond being called the great, Alexander was also one of the greatest drama queens of antiquity, with his temperamental character, his great friendships with women much older than him, and his irony in describing and overcome the harshest situations (including the death of a loved one).
The film's authors say of him that:
If he had been locked in a room with eight soldiers and a single dagger, he would have come out alive.
And, like an ancient Evita, he would come out with open arms, greet the crowd that would sing him ode of praise.