High on fun

Get ready for the three­mus­ke­teers

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - Thethree­mus­ke­teers.


THE lat­est adap­ta­tion of Alexan­dre Du­mas’ clas­sic novel The Three Mus­ke­teers ar­rives in 3D for­mat in Malaysian cine­mas to­mor­row (it opens a week be­fore the United States).

It is re­told by di­rec­tor Paul W. An­der­son with Lo­gan Ler­man ( Percy Jack­son And The Olympians) as D’Artag­nan, and Matthew Mac­fadyen ( Pride & Prej­u­dice), Ray Steven­son ( The Book Of Eli) and Luke Evans ( Clash Of The Ti­tans) as the three war­weary Mus­ke­teers – Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

But this is not your typ­i­cal adap­ta­tion­tion – for one, there’s a fly­ing ship. Then there’s Or­lando Bloom in the role of the de­vi­ous Duke of Buck­ing­ham and the film ac­tu­ally ex­plores Mi­lady’s darker side (she is played by Milla Jovovich who has a num­ber of ac­tion se­quences here judg­ing by the trailer). Also in the cast is Christoph Waltz who plays the pow­er­ful Car­di­nal Riche­lieu.

Ac­cord­ing to Mac­fadyen in the film’s pro­duc­tion notes, this film is meant for a new gen­era-gen­er­a­tion as it gives the clas­sic tale aa fresh take of the themes fea­tured in the story – love, loy­alty and friend­ship. He said: “I hope it will be as per­ti­nent and rel­e­vant as it pos­si­bly can be.”

The film re­volves around three war­riors who have pretty much be­come bored drunks with no real pur­pose in life. Then they meet an ide­al­is­tic and brave young man, D’Artag­nan, who they take un­der their wing.

Mean­while, within the walls of the palace where one Mi­lady De Win­ter walks – serv­ing the queen and king – a sin­is­ter con­spir­acy un­folds that ul­ti­mately puts the life of the King of France in dan­ger. It is now up to the four of them to en­sure the safety of both their King and that of the Euro­pean con­ti­nent and the only way for them to do it is by work­ing to­gether.

At the core of the story is also the re­la­tion­ship of the three men and D’Artag­nan, aided won­der­fully by the per­fect cast­ing. Us­ing the de­scrip­tion in the book, the film show­cases a mys­te­ri­ous Aramis, a larger than life Porthos and a melan­cholic Athos.

Pro­ducer of the film, Jeremy Bolt, said: “There needed to be a good bal­ance with these ac­tors be­cause the Mus­ke­teers are all equal – they even have ap­prox­i­mately the same num­ber of pages in the novel.

“Matthew Mac­fadyen as Athos is bril­liant – he has this el­e­gance and grace with an un­der­ly­ing brood­ing vi­o­lence.

“Porthos is just full of love of life and ex­u­ber­ance, bear hugs, beer and wine, and Ray (Steven­son) just imports this phys­i­cal­ity. Luke Evans as Aramis is ex­tremely hand­some but with a dark, mys­te­ri­ous qual­ity.”

Evans who is a fan of the book added his take on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the young D’Artag­nan and the Three Mus­ke­teers. He said: “We all have our sep­a­rate re­la­tion­ships with D’Artag­nan. My char­ac­ter, Aramis, be­comes like an older brother to him. He sees this young whip­per­snap­per who be­lieves he is in­vin­ci­ble and can rule the world, and watches him make his mis­takes.

“Aramis likes and cares about D’Artag­nan in a very brotherly way, even though at times D’Artag­nan’s youth­ful bravado grates on him.

“Athos is the fa­ther fig­ure, a lovelorn, heart bro­ken fa­ther who sees him­self in D’Artag­nan. And then we have Porthos, who is a like the big­hearted un­cle, al­ways ruf­fling his hair and slap­ping him on the back a bit too hard.”

The Three Mus­ke­teers was filmed on lo­ca­tion in var­i­ous towns and cities in Ger­many, Bavaria and Ba­bels­berg Film Stu­dios in Ber­lin. Although set in France, the film couldn’t be shot in France as most of the French coun­try­side has been mod­ernised which means any wide shots is not re­ally pos­si­ble. Whereas in Bavaria – which still has cas­tles and palaces – that is pos­si­ble.

For Mac­fadyen, film­ing in Bavaria was a to­tal treat. He said: “It was seem­ingly end­less; beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion af­ter beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion, each more won­der­ful and amaz­ing than the last. My favourite was a 17th cen­tury Schloss in Pom­mers­felden. We filmed the scene in the Vene­tian Safe House where Mi­lady dou­ble-crosses the three Mus­ke­teers.

“The room we were film­ing in was vast and ex­quis­ite with shells and tiny mir­rors dec­o­rat­ing the walls. The art depart­ment placed water baths out­side so the water re­flected and made a light ef­fect on the ceil­ing – it was ut­terly beau­ti­ful. I felt very lucky and priv­i­leged to be work­ing there.”

Beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tions and cos­tumes aside, what is most out­stand­ing is that in this ver­sion, it fea­tures not one but two ac­tors who are cast against type – as vil­lains. Although that doesn’t mean the ac­tors couldn’t in­ject a lit­tle trait of their own into the char­ac­ters. Get­ting a chance to play a rather ex­tra­or­di­nary wo­man who ably nav­i­gates her way through a man’s world in the 17th cen­tury is a role that’s surely made for Jovovich.

Bolt ex­panded: “Mi­lady de Win­ter is ab­so­lutely not or­di­nary – she is a triple agent, un­der­cover op­er­a­tive with mul­ti­ple pseu­do­nyms, a wo­man way ahead of her time. Milla felt she could bring some­thing very new and dis­tinct to this char­ac­ter and she has em­braced the part. Fans of her pre­vi­ous work will not be dis­ap­pointed.”

To give you an idea, one of the ac­tion se­quences sees Mi­lady fight­ing off 10 guards while wear­ing huge skirts, pet­ti­coats and corsets.

Then there is Bloom in the role of a rogu­ish and cun­ning vil­lain. Or, erm, as Bloom put it: “He is like a pea­cock that loves to show him­self off. When Paul and I were dis­cussing the role, he was telling me to think about the cool rock-stars of our time: David Bowie, Jim Mor­ri­son, Mick Jag­ger – Buck­ing­ham is like a rock star.”

He con­cludes: “This is not a Mus­ke­teer movie the au­di­ence is go­ing to ex­pect be­cause it doesn’t take it­self se­ri­ously. There is so much joy, humour and wit in this piece.” – Mum­ta­jBe­gum n The three mus­ke­teers opens na­tion­wide to­mor­row.

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