Charlie's Blog: VIDEO--There Be Dragons


VIDEO--There Be Dragons

Train Conductor: If you're going to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.
Josemaria: No, the world is not an omelet, and people are not eggs.

There Be Dragons is a movie I watched some time ago. It is from Roland Joffe who directed The Mission which I recommend highly. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this movie with the same level of enthusiasm.

My interest in the film comes from the biographical sections of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. Those parts are the only interesting things in the film. Joffe should have made a film about Escriva. Instead, he made a movie about a love triangle in the Spanish Civil War, and it is so forgettable that I can't even remember how the story goes anymore.

The Escriva parts are fascinating, and I will never understand why Joffe chose not to make a movie exclusively about this saint. I have read all three volumes of the Escriva biography, and there is more than enough material there for a full length movie. As it stands, Dragons represents a fantastically blown opportunity.

People interested in Escriva and Opus Dei will find the movie worth watching for the Escriva bits. But if you lack even this interest, this movie is a colossal waste of time. I do not understand why Joffe dedicated his considerable talents to this failure of a film. Roland Joffe is an agnostic, and I think this is why the guy can be both brilliant and clueless as a director. I think the reason he dared to have any Escriva material in this film was an acknowledgement that the best thing he ever made was The Mission. Clearly, the man wants to return to that material again, but he just can't get there. So, we get There Be Dragons instead.

I still wait for a more definitive film to be made about Saint Josemaria Escriva. This isn't it.