Beowulf (2007) Review



A movie poster featuring the character of Beowulf holding a sword.

Beowulf (2007)
Movie Review

Reviewed by The Funk Mistress


If you are a smart person and you say that you actually liked this movie, then I just lost a little bit of respect for you.

This movie poops all over the classic tale of Beowulf.

No one can even tell me “oh they were trying to recreate it for a new audience” because they took every important lesson and message of that poem and completely warped it.

Maybe it's a good film, maybe it's well executed. But it should never have been called “Beowulf” because it barely resembles the actual Beowulf poem.

Like I said, maybe it's a good movie. But if it's not going to try and at least follow the major plot points of the poem, it shouldn't carry the same name and it shouldn't claim to be based off of it.

I mean, it took the MOST important lessons and values of the poem and just completely distorted and disregarded them.

It's not like minor creative changes, it's artistic butchery.

Maybe I feel so strongly about this because about 70% of my education was invested in this poem and its time period and because I almost chose to go to grad school to focus on it.

But I think I would feel this way about ANY adaptation that so blatantly disregarded the piece it was attempting to emulate.

It resembles Beowulf closely enough that those who aren't familiar with the work wouldn't realize anything was wrong. But that's the whole problem. People who don't know about the poem are going to go around thinking “this is what Beowulf is” and its NOT.

Honestly, it's disrespectful to the people and lifestyle of the period.

Beowulf is revered as a way of understanding what life was like back then. Not literally with the idea of a fight against a monster, its mother, and a dragon but metaphorically.

The boasting scene in the great hall, the way the warriors speak and carry themselves, the scene where the one warrior who remained loyal to Beowulf chides his peers for their lack of courage - they all shed light on a very elaborate set of social and political behaviors that were key to one's survival and success in life.

By reworking all those elements of the poem, the film pretty much ruins it for the people who see it and don't know any better. The film could have created a whole new generation of Beowulf fans. But all it did was lie to its audience.

And I LOVE Neil Gaiman. LOVE him. I am practically stalking him. I have actually told people, like a crazy person, that he is my writing soul mate.

But, he was one of the writers for the film. And I have NO respect for him anymore. I have defended some of his sh*ttiest work. Not this. This was terrible and he should be ashamed as a writer to have done this to the Beowulf poem.

And now I am going to stop ranting. But seriously, if a smart person could be fooled by this movie, then there is no hope for anyone else who saw it.

The problem is I will always love Beowulf more than Neil Gaiman.

So, if Neil Gaiman is going to try to sabotage Beowulf, then I will choose Beowulf.

Thank you very much.


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