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n delhi India
The sands of time
May 30, 2010 07:39 PM 2548 Views
(Updated May 30, 2010 07:40 PM)





This flick is an adaptation of the popular video game by the same name. It has a very gamey feel to it. My son who is a devoted fan of the genre, dragged us to the movie with great anticipation. Strangely though, he was the only one in our family who ended up being disappointed with the movie. The rest of us who had never played the game, were thrilled with the movie. My son was puzzled at it, since we normally don’t like game adaptations. I guess the reason was that we had no clue , so had no expectations, and enjoyed whatever was given. He obviously had enjoyed many battles in the game, which were entirely missing here, to make way for romantic encounters between the Prince ( Jake Gyllenhaal ) and Princess Tamina ( who thinks of these names..?)

This flick has a bit of the Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider and the Harry Potter movies. I got an uncanny feeling of similarities in this movie with the Potter demons; no wonder this movie is directed by the extremely successful director of Potter movies - Mike Newell . It was refreshing to see Jake Gyllenhaal ( Brokeback Mountain ) in his new avataar of an action hero, but then he has vindicated his choice well, though he still smiles a little.. well, prettily I think. Princess Tamina ( Gemma Arterton ), looks yum and could have been an extremely successful lingerie model, without trying. The scheming Nizam ( Ben Kingsley ) , inspite of his kohl eyes and stern countenance, fails to convince as a murderous villain. Alfred Molina , as a tricky sheik, infuses some liveliness in his whacky character.

Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal ) is a street urchin in Persia (Iran). After showing valor in battle, he is adopted by the king as his heir, so the king's two sons will not fight over the throne. He grows up to be the Prince of Persia. During a raid on a holy city, Dastan finds a magic dagger that was in the care of Princess Tamina ( Gemma Arterton ). The magic dagger can send the knife-holder back in time for a minute when its sands are released by a button. He discovers that there are many players who are nursing hidden ambitions. They are interested in the dagger to go back in time and reverse some events of the past. The princess is also keen to restore the dagger ( a gift from the gods ), to its rightful abode in the temple, to prevent its misuse and disastrous consequences. Enter many interesting, gamey characters , ostrich racing, snake charming, knife wielding and the prince teaming up with the luscious princess saving the dagger from evil and restoring it to its rightful sanctum sanctorum. There is plenty of action, though half hearted by Hollywood standards. No wonder, anyone who has played it would find the action in the game much more exciting. True to his character, PoP jumps from wall to wall like an acrobatic monkey, and is endowed with great agility of the mind and the body, but falls short of the Spiderman’s technical brilliance. There are interesting twists in the tale, keeping the popcorn chewing public rooted to their spots. The special effects aren’t something to go gaga about, and you can't even press A to skip.

The flick has a strong Persian flavor to it, with British accent of course, and seeks to be funny at some places, but reaches there halfway only (maybe because of the stiff upper lip, eh). The landscapes are incredible, and the sets terrific.

On the whole, a thoroughly enjoyable movie, which has something of romance, action, horror, epic, mythology and video gaming feel to it ( much like a hindi movie which gives you a masala mix of everything for your money), and entirely recommended for family or teen viewing. Go for it !

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