Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Review – A rightly forgotten mess

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It’s a sentiment that will never be proven wrong; don’t let your friends pick which movie you watch. Not just because it’s always nice to pick the movie yourself, but also because your friend might pick Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. A film so bland and unmemorable I’d forgot I’d even watched the whole thing.

By all means should Captain Corelli’s Mandolin be geared up to be nothing more than Nicholas Cage stock hilarity, but it doesn’t quite reach the palatably awful height I was expecting. Instead the movie meanders in the mundane, wasting performances from John Hurt, Christian Bale and the leading Cage to name but a few members of this hardened ensemble.

Without a doubt the strongest problem is how forgettable the story is, something about a mandolin, whatever one of those is. I’m pretty sure it’s just a guitar but with a weird shtick that means it’s far from a guitar but at the exact same time basically the same instrument. Whatever the case, Captain Corelli (Nicolas Cage) owns a mandolin and that’s pretty much all I can remember. Not the most interesting Cage performance, neither for humour or for genuine enjoyment. He does put on a tremendously awful Italian accent for the whole movie though, never wavering even in the face of admittedly poor dialogue.

The real drama (if you can even call it that) comes from the brief encounters between Cage and Bale, with the latter playing the initial love interest of the greatly two-dimensional Pelagia (Penelope Cruz). But it’s not entirely the fault of Cruz, no, a larger and more overwhelming problem is of the direction. John Madden, it seems, doesn’t entirely know what type of movie he wants to make. He eagerly jumps between scenes of war and the harsh brutality of the 1940s to the romantic sights of Greece, jumping at any opportunity to show off its beauty.

With such a large mismatch in direction it’s hard to focus on anything plot-relevant, especially once the film rounds off in such a tremendously terrible fashion. Natural disasters wrapping up your movie is almost as bad as the “it was all a dream” trope.

By far one of the worst things to happen in 2001, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is an awful exposure of just how low the romantic drama sub-genre can really go. A great set of actors who have been so totally miscast that nobody really delivers anything of worth. It’s so tonally defunct and abhorrently terrible in more ways than the mind could ever imagine.


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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