Thursday, 23 July 2009

Glory: A Review

While watching Glory (1989) one of my friends came calling and it was a couple of hours until he finally left. All this time I just couldn't wait to get back to the movie. This is the beauty of a good movie. Well now let's get to the job.

Glory is a American civil war saga about the Union's first all-black volunteer company with the main protagonist being the commanding officer of the regiment Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. The movie begins at the Battle of Antietam and follows through the formation of the black unit and its training, and ultimately ending at the storming of the Confederate held Fort Wagner. Directed by Edward Zwick (of Blood Diamond fame) the film is simply marvellous. Though there were quite a few historical inaccuracies, those were made good by the excellent direction. This is not just another mindless chauvinistic war movie, but rather a war drama as it tries to analyse the sentiments of the men charged with the responsibility of protecting the American Union. Matthew Broderick as the baby faced Col. Robert Gould Shaw does a great job, though sometimes he leaves something to be desired. But still after Ferris Bueller's Day Off (his movie which I saw last) he still manages to surprise me. Cary Elwes (one of my favourite actors) is also quite good, but his rather small role doesn't really justice to his capabilities. Denzel Washington as the hot headed Trip is one of the greatest characters in cinematic history and singlehandedly becomes the uncontested spokesperson of black anger. Morgan Freeman is his great self as usual, and Jihmi Kennedy plays a rather interesting cameo with a nice accent. One stand-out of this film is the near about absence of any female characters. And lastly a mention about the music by James Horner - simply fabulous. It almost doubles the impact of what we see on the screen.

Plus factors - Great direction, great script, great acting, great characterisation, good utilization of characters and great music.

Minus factors - Average cinematography and quite a few historical inaccuracies.

My Rating - 8/10.

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