There Be Dragons
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Product Description Based on a true story, London-based investigative journalist Robert Torres travels to Spain to research a book about Josemaria Escriva, the controversial founder of Opus Dei. But Robert hist a wall, both professionally and personally, when his most promising source - his own father, Manolo Torres, turns out to be the least cooperative. Robert begins to unearth his father's toxic secrets when he learns that Manolo was not only born in the same Spanish town as Josemaria, but that they were childhood friends and attended the same seminary. The two men take radically different paths in life, with Josemaria dedicating his life to his faith while Manolo is swept into the brutal and tumultuous Spanish Civil War. Robert continues to unearth the secrets of Josemaria's life and Manolo's mysterious anger; their overlapping journey's are revealed. \"This film delivers a compelling message that forgiveness is the gateway to freedom no matter how difficult the circumstances. The redemption of a hardened man's heart is the movie's shining depiction of God's power to overcome hatred with forgiveness.\" - Dove \"It is a poignant portrayal of choices we all make and how their consequences ripple through history. It's profoundly told with deeply human scenes that touch the soul.\" - Rick Christian, Alive Communications
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Top Customer Reviews
Action scenes are piece meal and loaded with not too convincing CGI effects.
The worst thing is the music, bombastic, romantic, repetitive and intrusive; and unfortunately for a 105 min film, there is 100 minutes of it...it gets so tiresome. The music plays on regardless of the story telling, whether music is called for or not.
And btw, the Franco forces did not use Spitfires (as depicted in this movie) to strafe their enemy. The German and Italian air forces supplied him with the planes.
The clergy openly supported fascism, even asking Hitler and Mussolini for support and still apologetic about their Conquest of Latin America.
I loved the Directors "The Killing Fields" as one of the best movies I've seen.
I didn't expect to be led into such a movie fiasco.
Also to portrait of two characters under such incredible human stress failed to convince me about their actions in the film.
The acting was shallow and the scenes loaded with klischees.
Also if you are not familiar with the spanisch civil war, like most viewers will be, how could he possibly believe that such a complex and stirring conflict
could be understood by an unsuspecting audience.
Realistically, this is two movies. One about the writer and his father. One about Opus Dei. The two stories are related by the thinnest of threads and the relation doesn't actually need to be there at all.
I think the story about father and son, Monolo and Robert, would have been worth pursuing in more depth. The reason behind their rift is only alluded to and not explored terribly well, and their spontaneous reconciliation at the end felt forced. Deus ex machina. Perhaps a bit literally.
Meanwhile, the story about Josemaria Escriva -- I can't understand why Joffe didn't show him walking on water as he did just about everything else. I found that this felt like a really nice public relations piece for Opus Dei. I guess the Church and Joffe felt they'd taken enough hits from Dan Brown and needed some positive spin.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is the story of two childhood friends who take different life paths that cross during the Spanish Civil War. When one is proposed for sainthood in the 1970's, the son of the other begins research to write a book about him. An old picture links his father to the dead priest for the first time, and the writer begins digging into the story, finding that "there be dragons" in the past.
The movie is a mix of pshychological/spiritual with the action of a bloody war, and the ending is one very few would guess.
The movie is the true story of Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei. This group may sound familiar to you as it was used in the Dan Brown book/movie THE DAVINCI CODE. But it seems that truth is more interesting than fiction as we find out what it was all about. Also don't think this movie is a boring recitation of religious ideology, far from it.
Taking place in Spain Dougray Scott plays a journalist looking into the life of Escriva for an article he's writing. When his father, Judge Manolo, learns of this, he calls for him and provides him with information Scott never realized he had. It seems that his father and Escriva grew up together in the same small town in Spain.
The two began as boyhood chums but financial ruin made Escriva's family a pariah to that of Manolo. Later they have a run in at the seminary they both attend but make amends. Their lives then take to very different paths that one would think would never cross again. Instead, their lives cross at moments more important than anyone might ever know.
Manolo (Wes Bentley) works with his father's company and takes on the attitude of royalty when it comes to his workers. While many are complaining and threatening strikes, influenced by the Communists viewpoints becoming popular, he continues to see himself as the person in charge who can do as he wishes. Things change with time and the factory closes but he retains his wealth and position. Manolo eventually offers his services to the military who have tried to take over the country, going undercover with the subversives who want to have Communist rule.
At the same time Escriva (Charlie Cox) has become a priest, but one without enlightenment it seems. When he asks for direction from God, he receives it and then approaches his superiors with the idea he feels God sent to him. It is this idea that begins the formation of the group known as Opus Dei. But rather than be depicted as fanatical murderers we are presented with an order that follows the guidelines of everyday people uniting to worship and to follow God's word through their daily lives. Each person involved follows the same rules that priests would follow without being ordained. Escriva believes that in this way all can become closer to God.
The problem with Escriva though is one that involves the church during the Spanish Civil War that is going on around them. The subversives want nothing to do with the Catholic Church, going so far as to kill priests in the streets. Escriva's group must meet behind closed doors, worshipping but not openly.
While this is going on Manolo has infiltrated the subversives. He routinely sends information via radio to the military which disrupts much of which these fighters set out to accomplish. While undercover he also falls in love with one of the female fighter who wants nothing to do with him. She shares herself with the leaders and most fierce fighters, but holds back from Manolo. It just makes her more alluring to him.
These two divergent paths must cross at some time and they do. But not before we witness the reality of who these two men really are, the acts they perform for their different beliefs and how their world changes around them.
Director Roland Joffe has been connected with movies that take on the ideas of God and man in many forms, most notable with THE MISSION and THE KILLING FIELDS. Here he once again provides an outsiders view, a look that neither encourages nor dissuades the beliefs of the viewer. Instead we have an open minded look at a topic that is rather touchy for most.
As I said at the start, the movie might sound stuffy if all you heard about was Opus Dei and the Spanish Civil War. But after watching it made me more interested in both topics. You'll find yourself surfing the web looking for info on both or seeking out reading material. And the movie itself will hold your interest from start to finish. Well made, well directed and well acted, it should have been and Oscar contender. My guess is when the subject matter of God came into play it was unofficially disqualified. Their loss perhaps but your gain should you decide to watch.
Told in "flashback," There Be Dragons is a journalist's investigation of the life of Saint Josemaria Escriva and the surprising discovery of how his own dad's life had been intertwined with that of the saint. Much takes place at the time of the Spanish Civil War. Late 20th Century and Early 21st Century America lacks an understanding of that incredibly brutal, bloody place and time.
* In his bizarre, apocalyptic ballad, Miami 2017, Billy Joel casually alluded to the burning of churches "Like in that Spanish civil war."
* In Entertaining Angels' fictional conversation between Dorothy Day and her archbishop, Dorothy's character even seemed to minimize the slaughter of priests and religious - Dorothy would be aghast!(See David Scott's 1997 review, "On the Wrong Day" for more on the shortcomings of that film.)
There Be Dragons instead reminds us that for many of that time & place, concern for social justice lost touch with its moral compass and led to absolute injustice and depravity. Ultimately, this movie is an incredible story about redemption.
Within the past year, we have seen several major films with ostensibly Catholic themes: There Be Dragons and Of Gods and Men were head and shoulders over The Tree Of Life and The Way.
It is full of truly unpredictable twists and turns, and lots of hidden meaning and purpose.
I have heard criticism that St. Josemaria Escriva was not featured enough, and the focus was too much on the alternate character, Manolo. I disagree. As prominent as he was, St. Josemaria was, from what I ascertain, an understated though deeply interesting person, and the movie portrays this well.
I am preordering this. Now I am really looking forward to 2012!