Film Muser Rating : 4 / 5
Release Date : August 10, 2007
Running Time : 128 minutes
Stardust is about Tristan (Charlie Cox), a young man who’s father is from a small English town, and his mother from a neighbouring fantasy town. The two towns seem to only be separated by a stone wall, but they are in fact very different worlds. Tristan is led to the fantasy world when he and his love interest see a falling star plummet deep into the land passed the wall. He vows to retrieve the star for his lady friend to prove his love. While in the fantasy world, he does find the star, but it turns out to be a young woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes). As it happens, Tristan is not the only one with an interest in Yvaine, for “the heart of a star” is believed to be the key to eternal life. Tristan and Yvaine run for their lives as they try to evade the pursuits of a group of witches, led by Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) and a would-be heir to the Kingdom, Septimus (Mark Strong).
I had seen the preview for Stardust many times, and I honestly just didn’t get a good vibe from it. Despite my feelings, I did see the film and I really enjoyed it. During its promotion, it was being slated as a modern day The Princess Bride. Though I don’t think it quite matched the wit and humour of this 1987 classic, I do think it came pretty darn close. Stardust is a great fantasy story that is simple, light-hearted, and has something in it for everyone.
This film boasts an impressive cast including Peter O’Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, and is narrated by Ian McKellen. As good as all of these actors were, it was the performance of Robert De Niro as the cross-dressing pirate, Captain Shakespeare that is really memorable. Even though these effeminate characters have become ubiquitous, De Niro’s performance is pretty funny. I also really enjoyed the sequences with the King (O’Toole) and his seven children who are in a ruthless battle for the throne. As they kill each other off, their witty ghosts appear in black and white in the vicinity of the remaining siblings.
This is a fun movie that I would have trouble not recommending. It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a lively and whimsical fantasy film come out Hollywood, and Stardust provides something for all ages, male or female. Despite veering off of the main plot a little too often, this film does a pretty good job at being what it is – a romance set within magic and adventure. You’re not going to find a better date movie this year.
Near the end of the film Tristan and one of the King’s sons, Septimus infiltrate the witches’ castle while trying to rescue Yvaine. The Prince does not survive the assault, and the remaining witch Lamia takes control of his dead body with a Voodoo Doll, using it in a sword duel with Tristan. As funny as the movements are of the animated Septimus, the gallery of his spiritual brothers watching on is even more comical.