‘Stardust’: A High Sea Adventure with Magic and Romance

October 28, 2013 12 Comments

If its cast wasn’t enough incentive for the would-be viewer, this “adult” fantasy book-to-screen adaptation also surprises with a clever script – and that means this is a winner.

Stardust (2007) Film Review 

Nearly twenty years after being left on his father’s doorstep, Tristan Thorn (Charlie Cox) is in love. He’s found the woman whose heart he wishes to win in the local beauty, Victoria (Sienna Miller). Only trouble is, Tristan has to compete for her hand against a school mate. Hoping to woo her, Tristan promises the impossible: he’ll bring back a fallen star for the honor of her hand. There’s just one problem. Wall, the village Tristan calls home, has a wall to protect it from the realm of Stronghold and none of its citizens may cross to the lands unknown beyond that point.

‘Stardust’: A High Sea Adventure with Magic and Romance

Not about to give up, Tristan’s wanderlust prompts him to go forward. Once he reaches his destination, Tristan finds that the star is far from a lump of stardust. Her name is Yvaine (Claire Danes) and she’s nothing he expects. In order to keep her safe, he’ll have to embark on an adventure, one that pits him against a wicked sorceress (Michelle Peffier) and pirates!, he never expects.

There was once a time when fantasy films, books or any other form of “fantastical” entertainment was taboo in my house. Only recently did I settle in for a re-watch of this film, and writing this review reminds me that it’s probably Stardust that makes me curious about the genre in broader terms. I don’t watch this movie very often and for the life of me I cannot logically say why not. On the upside when I do get around to settling in and popping it into the player, it’s that much more fun because those time spans in-between viewings make me forget what a glittering piece of fun this film truly is.

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Fantasy addicts know that it takes a unique filmmaker who can merge humor and adventurous danger to fans satisfaction. That is the sort of fairy tale lover I am, and this script does that with whip-smart and zany precision. The script inspires lots of giggles without the feeling of the comedy “overdoing” things or at the cost of being a comedic mess. This is one of those films that really “has it all”; there’s several breath-catching moments (both good and bad). Of course, there’s swoon-worthy gestures, too. The creative genius behind this motion picture is Matthew Vaughn (X-Men, First Class) pulling double duty as both writer and director. Though I cannot say how this adapts (based on a novel by Neil Gaiman), the script works well as more of an “adult” fantasy epic and despite some unnecessary winking implications here and there, the story enthralls.

Before they’re familiar faces on television screens across, this movie features awesome talent! This includes its leading cast which pulls together everyone from the familiar (Danes, Peffier) to a newcomer (Cox). Also playing a role in this whimsical flick is Mark Strong, Rupert Everett, plus (briefly) a young Ben Barnes; and a nearly unrecognizable Henry Cavill. Everyone in this cast is stupendous! What I love most is that none of them are takes their roles too seriously – no one seems to be having more fun with it than this group of talent. But then that’s just what a good cast should do. The costuming is pretty, and Cox’s transformation from boy to man is good, too. Especially when he proves he can a.) wield a sword with expertise and b.) pull off swishing around one of those dusters!

If you like this genre,nothing does up the magic, enchantment or adventure better than Stardust. The title entices, and the build-up to the ever-important climatic ending better than many of its peers. In short, really all that needs to be said is this is any fantasy lover’s dream. It’s humorous, atmospheric (the effects aren’t bad either!) and just plain charming.

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Stardust digitally on Amazon Video

Content: We learn two man are homosexual, and there is other minor sexual innuendo. A baby is born out-of-wedlock; and it’s implied an unmarried couple is intimate. There is plenty of witchcraft and magic (voodoo). A man is turned into a woman [for “comical” purposes, we see her bust form] along with a few other sexual gags. Brothers kill each other [throwing them out windows, poisonings, slit throats] and there is a “panel” of ghosts present through much of the film. There are a few profanities
littered about. The film is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Melissa Tagg October 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    You know, I have heard from several friends that I need to watch this movie. I think your post just sealed the deal. :)

    • Rissi October 28, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      Really!? I hope you like it then, Melissa especially after hearing great things about it. Let me know what you think; I certainly LOVE it. :)

  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com October 28, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Great review. I love the content notes.

    I remember being weirded out by the animals somehow.

    • Rissi October 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Thanks for reading, Juju! :)

      That was a bit creepy; though usually that's what witch characters are! *Shudder*

  • Sarah October 28, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Love this movie. And that's all I have to say because you've said it all! Good review Rissi! :)

    • Rissi October 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      *HIGH FIVE*

      This is a really fun flick and I love all the imagery and imagination of it. Thanks for reading, Sarah. :)

  • Jamie Lapeyrolerie October 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    I love this one! I need to buy it on DVD. Such a cute and fun movie!

    • Rissi October 28, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      I agree, Jamie! (Just thought I'd clarify that in case I didn't gush enough in the review ;D) Hope you can add it to that collection soon, it's worth it!

  • Funtó October 29, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    I saw this movie for the first time while on holiday in the UK last Christmas. And then I watched it again about a month or so ago. I like it a lot. Well, apart from the witches killing animals and all that. Oh and I also thought the scenes with the captain were a little awkward.

    I liked how the film makers inserted quite some humour in the movie. And I thought it was absolutely adorable the way Tristan finally falls for Yvaine. *Sigh*

    Thanks for your review Rissi!

    • Rissi October 30, 2013 at 2:25 AM

      Any fantasy film seems to do a great job of being a little bit "icky." Usually I can get past it so long as I like the film and that was the case with this one, Funto. I'm glad you liked it also!

      The Tristan/Yvaine story was indeed charming; I adore the camaraderie and eventually love between them and yes, the humor was also another incentive. :)

      (As for the scenes with the captain? Yes, they are a bit "off," however that's just another way filmmakers can be PC.)

      Thanks for reading!

  • Bluerose October 29, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    I LOVE this movie!! It's one of my favorites! (And, then I read your content warnings and wonder how on earth I like it so much! ;) )

    • Rissi October 30, 2013 at 2:26 AM

      For me as well, Tammy! Funny you should mention being jarred by the content; I'm like that sometimes also. For some reason reading the content is usually worse than the visual/hearing. Or that is what I've found. :)

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