The Name of the RoseClosed Captioning
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In 1327, William of Baskerviller, an intellectually nonconformist but respected monk investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey in hopes of resolving matters before the Holy Inquisition can get involved.
The Name of the Rose - "With some difficulty"
For those that are looking for something resembling THE DA VINCI CODE, ANGELS AND DEMONS, and the NATIONAL TREASURE series, here is one the old fashion films that helped propell them. There is one great difference though between this film and those: the material.
Here are the basics: after a mysterious death, an abby in the 14th century believes it is plagued by the Devil. However the "head-monk" (I apologize I don't know what to call him) requests help from a fellow monk, William of Baskerville, to determine if there is a physical killer. WIth assistance from his novice Adso, William attempts to use logical detective skills to uncover the mystery of the abby. As the death count rises, so do the stakes, literally and figuratively, as an Inquisition priest arrives ready to blame and kill anyone despite what is real and what is believed.
The acting is well done, with Connery leading the charge as William, who really is a 14th century version of Sherlock Holmes. Christian Slater is Adso, pulling off a job as a monk conflicted with his beliefs and what is logically sound. And F. Murry Abraham - what is there to say about him? - if there is any man who can play an extremist Inquisition priest and can put fright into a corpse, it has to be him. Bravo!
Now why the four stars if this sounds like a reasonably good film? Why doesn't ROSE have as many people talking about it? Allow me to explain: the film was a hit in Europe, especially since the continent was the first to praise the book when it was released. However, as the film and book crossed the Atlantic, the popularity dropped immensely, mainly due to many religious groups in the USA declaring both book and film had attempted to distort facts by making the Christians evil. I must point out though, as a fellow researcher of history, Christianity doesn't have such clean slate. The depictions of "trials," executions, and way of life in the 14th century are spot on, which caused many Americans to also complain the film is too slow. I admit there are times it does feel long, but a slow film DOES NOT mean the film is bad. It just means you have to be in the mood.
In some respect, this a thinking-man's film, with codes and clues that cause the viewer to try to peace together what is happening. But because the film is based off the book (a major brain teaser), the viewer doesn't have to think too hard, so they can enjoy it all the same.
I highly recommend this film, especially to those who want something different and as much, or more, engaging as THE DA VINCI CODE. It isn't a great film, but it definitely causes people to wonder at the end. ****1/2 stars out of 5
One of my all time favourites! So glad it's on iTunes! Please now get Before the Rain!
The Name of the Rose
Great movie in every respect...I'll watch it again and again...comes alive each time...fascinating.