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ALEXANDER by Oliver Stone

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Alexander the Great – he conquered the (then known) world at age 25, and died at 33, paving the way for the Hellenistic culture to spread over the Mediterranean and Persian world. Are three hours enough to tell his story? Yes and no.

No, when you want to know how one man could accomplish this and hold the empire together until his death.

Yes, when you watch this movie – three hours are way too much, actually.

The story is being told by Old Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins in old-man makeup) in a nifty background story and from the off, it’s overfreighted with pointless symbolism (snakes and eagles), lofty dialogue and a lot of talking heads with mascara, eyeshadow and all-teary eyes. Alexander’s (Colin Farrell) bisexuality is obtrusively hinted at constantly, but never openly mentioned, and you wonder how a man who wallows in self-pity that much can lead an army to the end of the world. And with the worst hair in 5000 years of history. What’s missing is a consistent dynamic storyline and character development and any background how Alexander’s empire was ruled (we hear about his achievements mostly from the off – conquered this, went there, beat those, conquered that).
The two battles (one against the Persians, the other one in India against an army backed by battle-elephants) are gory and bloody, but you have seen better in Gladiator or in The Lord Of The Rings.
Angelina Jolie is wasted as Olympias, Alexander’s mother.
Unfortunatly, it seems Oliver Stone was so starstruck by Alexander that he decided to indulge himself in a three hour-orgy of admiration instead of concentrating on telling a gripping story about one of the world’s greatest conquerors.

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