Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Prince of Persia- Sands of Time

The final film in this session is Prince of Persia, The Sands of Time, a film which at the time of its release to theatres appeared to be in the mould of Indian Jones, I thought. Ok for a family outing with teenagers but not adult interest. I now understand that the film is based on a video game which is interesting as usually this is the other way round. The film has three great character actors Ben Kingsley as the baddie, Alfred Molina providing some light relief and Ronald Pickup as the King ruler of Persia who is impressed by the antics of a young street tearaway played by Jake Gyllenhaal who is brought up as another son and Prince, th Prince of Persia, with the two other sons of the King. They are persuaded by Ben Kingsley who is the Kings brother and family adviser to attack a sacred city on the grounds that weapons are being manufactured for use by enemies. The city kingdom has a beautiful female Princess as head who is the guardian of a special dagger which is in fact a device which if special grains of sand are inserted, Sands of Time, can reverse events back a few minutes enabling events to be altered which only the holder of the dagger is are aware of.

Ben Kingsley is aware of this and has manufactured the excuse to invade to capture the device for himself with the intention of using the device with the full Sands of Time beneath the Palace in such a away that he will reverse time to the point when his brother will not have existed, and therefore married with sons and heirs and he will be in charge. However if he is in error with his timing the risk is that that in effect time will be reversed to the extent humanity as it developed will permanently cease to exist- The sands having run out into a vortex within the centre of the earth.

To begin the process he tricks one of his sons to give a prayer cloak to his adopted brother to give to their father. The young man has acted in such a way to minimise death and destruction in taking the city although his father says that he should have stopped to attack all together knowing that it was against his wishes whatever the circumstances. The cloak has a magical property which means once it is worn it seals in the body and has been treated in such away that wearer is burnt to death. The brother under the pressure from the adviser blames the adopted son who barely escapes with his life and only with the help the help of Princess who seeks the dagger he has taken from the person she entrusted to take where it will find sanctuary. Why it cannot be hidden anywhere else is not disclosed.

She persuades the adopted Prince to help her return the dagger to the place of sanctuary and to do this and avoid their pursuers they need to enter a valley pass with a dreadful reputation but this is front for Alfred Molina’s operation providing Ostrich races and gambling. The Prince and the Princes are also being chased by a group of warriors under the control of King’s brother less by a man with exceptional strength and powers and the combination of trying to escape from the pursuers and the Molina enterprises results in the enterprise being wrecked, so they are then hunted with a view to being sold for the bounty attached to them. As they reach the place of sanctuary for the dagger, crossing the Hindu Kush is the borders with India they are captured by the youngest of the King’s sons who they convinces of the treachery of their uncle only for the brother to be killed. They lose the dagger to the Uncle’s men and it is taken back to the City’s capital where his agents are working below to reach the portal enabling a major reverse in time. The Prince and Uncle fight enabling a return in time to the point that that the brothers have entered the city but before the arrival of the King so only the adopted Prince is aware of the subsequent events. He is able to convince the elder son of the treachery of the Uncle who once threatened exposure reveals his true motivations and ambitions and is defeated. The brothers apologise for their hostile entering of the city and the Prince is offered as a marriage partner for the Princess who accepts and to whom he gives the dagger which had come into his possession. Ah another happy ending.

The film lasts just under two hours and doubled its budget at the box office despite only about a third of the critics being positive. As I suspected it is suitable viewing for young people which the parents can enjoy with nothing too scary or likely to produce nightmares in younger children allowed to watch. Is not a spectacular film by today’s standards

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