After hearing about this film and seeing a preview for it I added Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time to my Must See list. This film was interesting to me for several reasons: same director and style to the Pirates of the Caribbean films, familiar actors, an ancient time period and an interesting story. I wasn't in a great hurry to see this film but it made a great Christmas gift for my brother, one that I could enjoy with him.
Plot: Set in the ancient and mystical lands of Persia, the story begins when good King Sharaman witnesses a street boy preform an act of true bravery and decides of adopt him. Dastan grows up to be a rather reckless but well-loved prince of Persia. Dastan and his royal-blooded foster brothers, Tus and Garsiv along with their uncle Nizam, plan an attack on the sacred city of Alamut, which is believed to be selling weapons to Persia's enemies. Dastan leads a successful surprise attack on the city and after a fight he gets hold of a dagger. Alamut's beautiful princess, Tamina, is captured and is arranged to marry Tus in order to achieve peace. When Dastan presents the princess and the Priest's Robes from Alamut to his father he has no idea that he's been set up and is blamed when the poisoned robe kills his father. Dastan and Tamina barely escape the royal city and hide in the desert. When Tamina tries to kill Dastan he learns that the dagger he holds can turn back time when the sand is released from it's handle. Tamina and Dastan must work together with a band of thieves to reveal the secret of the dagger and thwart a plan to steal the throne of Persia.
Princes of Persia: Garsiv, Tus and Dastan
My Thoughts: After watching this film for the first time I immediately wanted to watch it again. There was so much going on in the story, so many twists and turns. Lot's of excitement, action, humor, and good clean fun. The darker elements in this film are very much like what can be found in a Pirates of the Caribbean films, so it might not be appropriate for younger children and I think it would be enjoyed best by young teens to adult age. I hadn't realized this but this film was made based on a video game which explains why there's a lot of hand to hand combat and fight sequences. They are very well done though and little to no blood is shown. There are some definite scary parts though (a scene with snakes springs to mind) that again wouldn't be suitable for younger children.
Dastan with his adopted father King Sharaman
Sets: The sets are very detailed with ancient looking potters, fabrics, patterns and architecture. The colors and textures are very interesting. And quite a bit of everything is covered in desert grit. Animals are everywhere and you won't believe what kind of animals are raced with jockeys riding on their backs!
Music: This interesting soundtrack was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, the same composer who created the soundtracks for all three recent Narnia films! The music adds a lot to the twists and turns of the film, filling each scene with excitement.
Actor Ben Kingsley as the king's brother Nazim.
Cast: The acting is very well done. It's nice that even though this is an "action" film of sorts the quality of the casting and acting is not compromised. There are some faces that period drama fans will recognize. Take a look:
- Ben Kinglsey - Does a very interesting job with the character Nazim, this guy holds a lot of secrets. Other period dramas: Silas Marner, Twelfth Night, Tuck Everlasting, Oliver Twist (I really want to see this version). And apparently he's recently been made a Knight so he's Sir Ben Kingsley now!
- Richard Coyle - he plays Dastan's older brother Tus. I was very surprised to see this Brit dressed up as a Persia but it completely fit (see him in photo above)! Other period dramas: Lorna Doone, Wives and Daughters, Going Postal (which I hope to review soon).
- Gemma Arterton - She was stunning as the spunky Princess Tamina! Other period dramas: Lost in Austen, Tess of the D'Urbervilles (2008).
- Alfred Molina - He was so funny as Sheik Amar, the leader of a band of thieves. His character added a lot of humor to the film. Other period dramas: Luther (2003) and As You Lite It (2006). I've also seen him in several modern things such as Spiderman 2 and The Pink Panther 2 as well as a few other period dramas I haven't seen.
Lovely Princess Tamina of Alamut
Costumes: Detail abounds in the ancient Persian style costumes. Most of the costumes are fairly dark in color, especially among the armies of Persia. There are some lovely reds and golds in the palace of Persia and lovely creams and blues in the palace of Alamut. Among Sheik Amir's band of thieves the costumes look a bit more worn and as if they were made of more natural woven fabrics. Princess Tamina has some beautiful costumes though some of them are a bit immodest. I did like the ones in the photos above.
Tamina & Dastan chat during a sand storm.
Dastan & Tamina: Starting out like a chapter from Pride and Prejudice, Dastan and Tamina really don't like each other through most of the film. Tamina sees him as the reckless Persian warrior who attacked her city. Dastan sees her as the haughty Princess who is more trouble than she's worth. But as the film progresses they form a friendship and learn that they will have to work together in order to keep the sands of time from running out.
Dagger thrower Seso, Princess Tamina and outlaw Sheik Amar
Overall: This was a fun film and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean films. It also reminded me a bit of One Night With The King, if perhaps only because of the ancient style costumes. Like I said, after watching this for the first time I watched again soon afterward, not just to sort out the story but also because I enjoyed it so much.
Have you seen Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? If you have seen it what was you opinion? If not do you plan on seeing it?