There are those who search at length for inspiration, be it for a writing piece, sculpture, or fashion, but then there are artists who look no further than what is right in front of them, finding beauty in everyday objects, colours, and shapes. This week we are highlighting the wonderful blog WISP –– Where I See Fashion by Bianca Luini for her wonderful imagery and abstract view of clothing. The blog curator showcases clothing alongside art pieces with corresponding elements of colour, shape, and layout, with even a single image triggering the creative process for designers, which develops into a whole line of clothing or textile designs.
But first, let’s talkIngrid Bolsø Berdal as Atalanta.
Can we please talk about how she was not only superb in her role, she fit it so well. I’m a bit iffy on the lack of protective anything in her costume, but since her expertise rely heavily on agility, and long-range, Imma let it slide. SHE HAS THE BUILT OF A WARRIOR HUNTRESS. Also, I cannot stress how appreciative I am about how Atalanta was not typecasted as the typical chick-amongst-the-males. She didn’t have any romantic feelings towards any of them (namely Herucles); she acknowledged them as family. And she isn’t turned into someone who doesn’t go for men either because god knows only women who don’t go for males can hang out with them platonicaly. She didn’t turn into background when the shit hit the fan, and Hercules needed to have some brain straightening. She was every bit as involved in the plans as everyone else. She was on EQUAL footing. And when people say she isn’t, she shoots down their mysoginistic bullshit with her arrows. Hell to the yes for Atalanta.
But let’s not forget Ergenia. She’s a princess, healer, mother. She may not have the physical prowess of Atalanta, but she fought with her own ways. It wasn’t right; she knew it wasn’t right, but she did it to protect her own, and she was strong in those ways. Also, I just really liked how she genuinely broke down, cursed, shrieked, and what not later on in the movie. She wasn’t a seasoned warrior who did not fear death. She was herself, and human, and so understandably afraid, and she showed it, and that’s how she endeared herself to the audience.
Edit. Also how great it is that there was no oddly paced oddly timed romance between any of the characters. Movies do not need romance to keep an audience and this just proves it. I was so ready to see Hercules end up with someone because that is how most movies these days go but nope they kept true to the character and how he is not in the right time and state of mind to be interested in any romantic relationship whatsoever. Although there was plenty bromance here and I am not complaining. They needed camaraderie and trust and loyalty and no drama here.
Okay, NOW let’s talk about Hercules. I like this Hercules. He’s fallible, more human than demi-god, and so very jaded. He’s not the Hercules I grew up knowing, but he’s the Hercules I eventually learned about in university. I still remember how my professor called him— Hercules, the first existential hero. This isn’t the guy who went the distance to be one of the god. Here, Hercules is the man who lost his wife, and children. The man who wanted to escape, end it all, but didn’t. He just wants peace, and he’s much more down-to-earth. He was humble—he’s but a mercenary, not a hero. He just wanted to get on with life, then comes this chick offering him a job. He does his job (too) well, but he realizes some things. And he tries to set things right. Swell enough. But you see how he struggles with his past. You see how he struggles with his fate. And you see how he struggles with himself—who he is.
Let’s have a bit of a badass photo break here because SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT.
Now let’s talk about the themes going on the movie.
The Legend versus The Reality. In the very beginning we have Iolaus speaking about Hercules and how you should be quaking in your sandals once he gets here. Iolaus’ role in the movie is mainly the one who spreads the stories that immortalized the so-called demi-god. Then we see how things really are. Hercules is not alone. He doesn’t defeat all his enemies on his own. The mythical creatures he kills aren’t other-worldly. Hercules doesn’t even know his parents. The movie slowly reveals and cements the fact that he is no bastard child of Jupiter (they say Zeus but let’s be consistent here. Zeus and Heracles. Jupiter and Hercules).
People’s Perception versus Self Perception. In relation to the first theme, the movie delves into the effect of perception to a person. We have a contrast between Lord Cotys (ahemCootiesahem) and Hercules. The former has a huge deal about what people say about him. He said something along the lines of “it doesn’t matter what you think about yourself; what matters is what others think about you”. Hercules, on the other hand was more concerned with the question of “who am I”, which, once answered, led to some serious ass kicking, and desolation of interiors and light fixtures.
Fate versus Freedom. As with anything related to Greek and Roman mythology, there’s always this thing about the hero fighting against his fate. You have Hercules, and Cerberus. And Amphiaraus, who was a known seer, and his death.
Okay, so as with everything, I’ve got a couple of points to semi-rant about. As impressed I am by how the characters are well expressed through the lines they execute, I really don’t like the inconsistencies in the historical aspects. One is the very common one of Hercules being the son of Zeus; come one guys, at least be consistent—are we going for Greek or Roman mythology, here? Another is that one line by Atalanta regarding Autolycus’ dick being bigger. If memory serves well, in those times, they preferred the smaller ones. Hence how the statues have tinier members than what people these days would brag about. Another one is Hercules’ totally badass, yet uncomfortably (seemingly?) historically inaccurate line “Fucking Centaurs”. Okay, so they don’t speak English during those days, but, really? If you’re going for a somewhat older way of speaking, I hardly think that cuss word would be appropriate. But maybe that’s just me being picky.
Edit. Also I have a bit of an issue with the ending because seriously the soldiers of Thrace though following orders did not seem at all bothered by the fact they were ordered to kill the heroes who trained them and the prince who would one day lead them. Nevermind that the one ordering the latter was the grandfather of said prince and said old guy and Hercules were shouting all these things at each other that ought to make them question their king. The soldiers really did not have anything to fear if they turned against their king. There was one of him and all of them plus Hercules and the gang. Gotta give them points though for being obedient soldiers and doing their job. I just wish they thought things through. Have some morals. Use some critical thinking.
So I haven’t read or heard about others’ opinions about the movie, and I am not a movie critic. Heck, I don’t have an eye for the cinematic; I’m more concerned about the characters, the plot, or the themes—usually only one or two of them at a time. So don’t take my word for it, and watch it for yourselves. I just had to write all this because I came out the theater feeling buzzed about the stuff I wrote about (mostly Atalanta). So there you go.