Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kingdom Of Heaven - What is Jerusalem Worth?


Kingdom of Heaven (released 2005) may be historically inaccurate. It may also be a tad racist (Palestinian villagers living in Palestine for the last few millenia are unable to farm their own Palestininan land until this ironsmith from the French alps comes on the scene and teaches them about irrigation and seed planting and lo and behold we have rivers of milk and honey). It may have bombed at the ticket counters...

But but but...........

It has a great script,
fantastic cinematography,
Eva Green,
ultra accurate costumes (except for a few of the royals and the evil fat man depicted as Templars whereas they were not in reality),
Salah Ud Din / Saladin / Salah Al Din,
wholely reconstructed levithan of a set of Jerusalem with so many amazing details,
Eva Green,
Edward Norton,
beautifully paced battle scenes,
Eva Green,
seige of Jerusalem,
Battle of Hattin,
Eva Green,
beautiful horses,
Eva Green,
Lian Neeson
Orlando Bloom actually acting pretty well, honestly I was genuinely surprised,
Eva Green,
trebuchets punctuating the walls of Jerusalem,
maginificent aerial views of the Dome of Rock (the scale and perspective are awesome),
Eva Green,
Battle of Kerak which has been shot so well and the crusader cavalry and later the long shot of King Baldwin riding towards the Crusader stronghold of Kerak,
Jeremy Irons,
Eva Green............
I could see this movie again and again and again.

I can't wait to get my greedy paws on the Director's Cut DVD.

I personally believe there to be scope for a sequel with Richard the Lion Heart and Salah Ud Din battling each other for possession of the Holy Land whilst also exchanging physicians, harem chicks and burito receipes, also though it may not star Eva Green. Sniff....such is life.

This first and last encounter between Balian and Salah Ud Din is my favourite part of the movie, in fact it's one of my favourite dialogues ever. Also it is history relevant for the battle of Jerusalem was yet another milestone in Salah Ud Din's magnificent career but it was also a victory which gave him respect and recognition amongst many muslims for evicting the Christians out of Islam's third holiest site. In many ways it was his greatest military victory.


I really wanted to write a long, detailed and analytical review of this movie but alas I have no time, maybe after I finish reading a bit on Salah Ud Din and the second and third crusades.

Want to know more?

1. Salah Ud Din

Wikipedia (no quality control and prone to change without notice)

Contemporary accounts of Salah Ud Din's "liberation" of Jerusalem (from Internet Medieval Sourcebook - a huge blessing)
Crusader side of the story
Some Muslim accounts

Jewish Virtual Library (a site I respect)

Well written and a bit off the track article by Palden Jenkins

2. Crusades

Catholic encyclopedia on the Crusades

Paul Halsall's Internet Medieval Sourcebook on the Crusades - I love this (this is huge and awesome)

Take a virtual course on the Crusades

3. What is the Kingdom of Heaven and why is this movie called so?

Catholic encyclopedia on the Kingdom of Heaven (not the movie title)

a decent sub page with lots of links on the movie as well as on revelant issues(be mindful I have not explored most of the links on this page, also appears to be a tad vitriolic, so....caveats all around,also let me know what you think of this link !!!)

Eva Green