Tuesday, May 31, 2005

His Lines Stink (or Why George Lucas Should Have Hired a Scriptwriter)

I finally watched Episode III last night, when a good friend (who claims not to read my blog, but reads other people's, especially Star Wars fans' - what a friend!) was kind enough to watch it for the third time just to accompany me.

In two words, I would say that the film is "not bad". Much has been said about it already. Lucas is a special effects genius and should be hailed for the awesome production that he once more signed onto the big screen. I could predict the lines, though, not because I'm a huge fan who knows his mind, but because the script was so predictable and anybody could have come up with that had George just given them the plot. He would have had more time on his hands then.

In fact, that probably should have been best. As my friend Ted already pointed out, George should have concentrated on perfecting his special effects and just delegated the writing to someone who could, uhh, write. It doesn't take a genius to craft the words the way George wants them anyway! My friend and I filled in the blanks and anticipating the characters' words while watching the movie last night, and it did not make a difference that it was my first time to watch it.

Some scenes were downright pathetic. I'm not quoting verbatim but I believe I captured the general idea of the first scene that made me squirm, to the amusement of my seatmate:

(Anakin to Padme, who was brushing her long curly hair with a Biiig Brush)

"You look so beautiful."

Padme turns around, smiles at him, and says, "That's because I'm so in-love."

Anakin, smitten guy that he is, replies, "No, no, it's because I'M so in-love."

Which reminds me, I was NOT able to predict that exchange! Nothing prepared me for dialogue that cheesy. The two lost me in their saccharin-infused language, and when I paid attention again, I could not believe they quoted Shakespeare by asking if love is indeed blind!

As I said above, however, the movie is not bad. My friend told me to watch out for more exciting lines such as "You're breaking my heart", so when I had significantly lowered my expectations regarding the script, I was able to enjoy the movie more. Thank you, George, for attempting to explain everything. I was not able to reconcile all the loose ends in my head but what the heck, just to see Master Yoda fly and kick butt is already relaxing for me.

So Anakin turned to the Dark Side and became Darth Vader. I could not relate with him fully, but I willingly suspended my disbelief. I would have expected a Jedi to battle with his own desires and feelings more successfully. Or in the middle of locking light-sabers with his mentor Obi-wan, Anakin could have paused to ask himself, "Why am I doing this?" Anakin was able to shut out his conscience fully, I reckon, enough to hurt those whom he loved the most and to "turn into the very thing he was fighting against".

Despite these comments, I'm still willing to suspend disbelief once more. I could say the lines with the characters then. Watch it again, I will.

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