Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Uncategorized The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo | Action, Adventure, Drama | rated PG-13| starring Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Richard Harris, James Frain, Dagmara Dominczyk, Michael Wincott, Luis Guzman | directed by Kevin Reynolds | written by Alexandre Dumas (novel), Jay Wolpert (screenplay)| 131 min

Set in the late 1820’s, The Count of Monte Cristo, is an adaptation of the famous book written by Alexandre Dumas.  Caviezel plays Edmond Dantes, a young, uneducated sailor that has just arrived in France.  The story unfolds quickly, as we find out that Dantes has plans to wed his girlfriend, Mercedes (Dominczyk).  But, his friend, Fernand (Pearce), is secretly in love with Mercedes, too.  He frames Dantes for a crime that he did not commit and Dantes is falsely imprisoned.  He is sent to Chateau d’If, a notoriously horrible prison on an island where no one is heard from ever again.  Here, Dantes befriends an old inmate, whom he calls “Priest”.  Priest (Harris) has been tunneling for 11 years to escape, but he accidentally tunnels into Dantes’ cell.  Priest is a very educated former military soldier who teaches Dantes how to read, write, and become an expert swordsman.  Priest also has a treasure map to a plethora of sunken gold.  Ultimately, Dantes escapes and washes up on a shore where he is met by a band of pirates.  Dantes is given the option to fight one of the sailors (Guzman)  to the death to take his spot on the ship.  Dantes wins the battle but spares Jacopo’s life.  Jacopo owes Dante his life and swears he will always have his back.  Once Dantes time on the ship is over, he takes Jacopo and finds the gold.  Dantes begins his new life at The Count of Monte Cristo and slowly brings his former “friends” back into his life, with his secret ploy of vengeance.

The movie is visually put together very well.  The costumes and scenery are all realistic of the era.  It is also a film that uses it’s time wisely.  Being just a little over two hours, it puts together a period of almost 20 years without making it long and boring.   The ending is a bit rushed, though, and could have actually been longer.

The acting is excellent; Caveizel plays Dantes perfectly.  He represents him very differently before and after his enters Chateau d’If, as he should.  His self-confidence and education is revealed as during the scene where The Count of Monte Cristo gives a birthday toast for Fernand’s son.   This Polish actress is gorgeous and steals the viewers eyes most every scene she is in while Harris is always outstanding.  Younger audiences will know Harris from the new Harry Potter films.

The Count of Monte Cristo is a very appealing, fun, and fast moving film.  It plays on viewers feelings of vengeance and puts you in Dantes’ corner throughout.  While this is a story that most people know, it is a great adaptation from the book and enjoyable for all ages.

-Nate

1 thought on “The Count of Monte Cristo”

  1. It was such a good film. It did a good job of staying true to the book, in my opinion. Not to mention Guy Pearce plays his role WAY too well.

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