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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Stardust

Claire Danes plays Yvaine, a fallen star who needs help finding her way home in Stardust, a fairy-tale adult film.  Photo courtesy Paramount
Claire Danes plays Yvaine, a fallen star who needs help finding her way home in Stardust, a fairy-tale adult film. Photo courtesy Paramount

By Devin Rodgers/reporter

Claire Danes plays Yvaine, a fallen star who needs help finding her way home in Stardust, a fairy-tale adult film.  Photo courtesy Paramount
Claire Danes plays Yvaine, a fallen star who needs help finding her way home in Stardust, a fairy-tale adult film. Photo courtesy Paramount

Nothing is more exciting or satisfying than going to the movies and walking out pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the time was.

It’s been quite awhile since something truly unique, refreshingly original and alive hit theaters. Studios have been too busy with sequels and remakes.

Based on the graphic novel by Neil Gaiman, Stardust is a charming and whimsical fairy tale in the tradition of

The Princess Bride.

It’s tells the tale of Tristan (Charlie Cox), a young Englishman from the town of Wall, named for the stone wall that surrounds it.

Hopelessly in love with the most gorgeous woman in the village, the arrogantly spoiled Victoria (Sienna Miller), Tristan wants nothing more than to win her hand in marriage.

While the two are gazing into the night sky, a shooting star comes falling to Earth. Victoria promises she will marry him if he retrieves the fallen star.

When Tristan crosses over the wall, he enters a magical realm known as Stormhold, and much to his surprise, he finds out the star is actually a girl named Yvaine (Claire Danes), and she’s not happy about falling out of the heavens.

Tristan makes a promise to help find a way for her to return home if she’ll accompany him back to Victoria, but he isn’t the only one in Stormhold in search of the fallen star.

A dying king (Peter O’Toole) tells his remaining sons that whoever finds the star and claims the ruby that hangs around her neck will inherit his kingdom.

This challenge sets off a deadly feud between the brothers as they try to bump one another off in hopes of increasing their odds of succession to the throne.

Also seeking the fallen star is the age-withered evil witch Lamia, played to wicked perfection by Michelle Pfeiffer, who wants to get her hands on Yvaine so she can cut out her heart and gain eternal youth.

As Tristan and Yvaine make enemies and have run-ins with Lamia and Septimus (Mark Strong), the most cunning and dangerous of the king’s sons, on their way back to Wall, they also come into the company of a few friends, a crew of sky pirates.

They are led by the fearless Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro), who, besides his formidable reputation as a gung-ho captain, has a secret that he’s literally been trying to keep in the closet from his crew.

Shakespeare captures bolts of lightning in cast-out nets as if a fisherman and then sells them on the magical market to Ferdy, a shady merchant played well by British comic Ricky Gervais.

The performances are perfectly calibrated for this kind of fantasy fun.

The film never takes itself too seriously and always manages to find strange and interesting new ways of keeping the audience entertained.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the film pulls out a new trick.

Even though magic doesn’t really exist, Tristan’s transformation from hopeless romantic to swashbuckling hero seems believable.

Stardust is a nice return to character-driven fantasy, where the storytelling comes first, not the special effects.
What makes it work so well is its wonderfully diverse array of characters who don’t just fall into the massive backdrop.

Stardust works because we want it to; we want to see Tristan succeed, defeat his enemies and win the heart of the girl. We want to believe in magic and happy endings, and Stardust makes it possible.

A happily-ever-after ending is a sure thing with fairy tales, but at least the characters and the script, written by Jane Goldman and director Matthew Vaughn (who previously directed the 2004 British gangster film Layer Cake), allows you to be swept off your feet and into a magical world, where true love can be discovered in the most unlikeliest of places.

Stardust is a piece of pure escapism—it’s movie magic.

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