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There Be Dragons (Blu-ray Review)

8 Jan, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

Street 1/10/12
Box Office $1.07 million
$22.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence and combat sequences, some language and thematic elements.
Stars Dougray Scott, Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, Derek Jacobi, Rodrigo Santoro, Olga Kurylenko.

During medieval times, unknown territories were marked with the phrase “here be dragons” on maps, according to filmmaker Roland Joffe.

In There Be Dragons, each of the three main characters faces his own different dragon.

Journalist Robert (Dougray Scott) is assigned to research Josemaría Escrivá, a modern-day saint in the Catholic Church. He soon learns that his estranged father, Manolo (Wes Bentley), could be his greatest resource, as he was a childhood friend of Josemaría’s.

Though the story of Josemaría (Charlie Cox) is based on a real saint, the fictional plotlines for Robert and Manolo are often more interesting.

While Robert seeks answers, the dying Manolo seeks forgiveness. With death imminent, Manolo shares with Robert the story of his wicked past and the contrasting life of Josemaría.

Founder of the controversial Opus Dei organization, Josemaría was a priest whose work was impeded and life was threatened during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. Fighting on the opposing side of Josemaría was Manolo.

Part biopic, part war film, part epic drama and part spiritual film, There Be Dragons is pulled in different directions without satisfying any of the genre categories it may fall under. One overarching theme no matter how you look at the film, however, is forgiveness. If you can get past the inconsistent accents, the film can be an inspiring one, reminding us that saints aren’t always perfect and sinners aren’t always evil.

After the negative and inaccurate portrayal of Opus Dei in the “Da Vinci” code films, it was nice to see the organization depicted in a positive light with its mission, founder and early members being, well, not creepy albino monk assassins.

Among the extras is a featurette in which Bentley speaks about how he related to Manolo and how making the film changed his life when he met someone who helped him get sober during the shooting of the film. The very personal testimony may make some uncomfortable.

The disc also includes deleted scenes.

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