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Beowulf – The Full Scoop

Submitted by on Monday, 26 November 20072 Comments

Ok, here must be one of the most talked about movies of recent times – Beowulf. This movie is currently showing here in Singapore and I must catch it sometime. Heard that Angelina Jolie looks pretty naked in this show… that must be worth the price of the ticket huh…

Beowulf Movie Poster

Anyway…

This movie, based on an Old English poem written sometime before the tenth century A.D., describes the adventures of a great Scandinavian warrior of the sixth century.

Picture of the original Beowulf manuscript

Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic in British literature and exists in only one manuscript (pictured left). This copy survived both the wholesale destruction of religious artifacts during the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and a disastrous fire which destroyed the library of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631).

The poem still bears the scars of the fire, visible at the upper left corner of the photograph. The Beowulf manuscript is now housed in the British Library, London.

(Text and picture of original Beowulf manuscript in this paragraph taken from Culture Cafe).

This is the synopsis of the movie as taken from the official Beowulf website found here.

In a legendary time of heroes, the mighty warrior Beowulf battles the demon Grendel and incurs the hellish wrath of the beast’s ruthlessly seductive mother. Their epic clash forges the timeless legend of Beowulf.”

Yeah whatever, you get to see Angelina Jolie naked!

Groundbreaking director Robert Zemeckis offers a unique vision of the Beowulf saga in a way that has never been told before. Beowulf stars RAY WINSTONE in the title role and these other stars: ANTHONY HOPKINS (as the corrupt king Hrothgar), JOHN MALKOVICH (as Unferth), ROBIN WRIGHT PENN (as Wealthow), BRENDAN GLEESON (as Wiglaf), CRISPIN GLOVER (as Grendel), ALISON LOHMAN (as Ursula) and ANGELINA JOLIE (as Grendel’s mother).

Here are some screenshots and Beowulf pictures taken from the official website to whet your appetite a bit…

Beowulf Screenshot 1

Beowulf Screenshot 2

Beowulf Screenshot 3

Beowulf Screenshot 4

Beowulf Screenshot & Pictures 5

Beowulf Screenshot & Pictures 6

Beowulf Screenshot & Pictures 7

Ok, the next section here gives a summary of what this whole Beowulf story is about, a Beowulf summary if I may. It will contain spoilers so only proceed if you want to know what this story is about. If you’re going to watch the movie, then stop right there… Don’t come crying to me if reading this has spoiled the enjoyment of the movie, if you do, I’ll kick your ass…

(Text taken from Wikipedia)

The Beowulf summary:

The First Battle : Grendel

Beowulf begins with the story of King Hroðgar, who built the great hall Heorot for his people. In it he, his wife Wealhþeow, and his warriors spend their time singing and celebrating, until Grendel, an outcast from society who is angered by the singing, attacks the hall and kills and devours many of Hroðgar’s warriors while they sleep. But Grendel dares not touch the throne of Hroðgar, because he is described as protected by God. Hroðgar and his people, helpless against Grendel’s attacks, abandon Heorot.

Beowulf, a young warrior from Geatland, hears of Hroðgar’s troubles and with his king’s permission then leaves his homeland to help Hroðgar.

Beowulf and his men spend the night in Heorot. After they fall asleep, Grendel enters the hall and attacks, devouring one of Beowulf’s men. Beowulf, who has been feigning sleep, leaps up and clenches Grendel’s hand, and the two battle until it seems as though the hall might fall down from their fighting. Beowulf’s men draw their swords and rush to his help, but their swords do not pierce Grendel’s skin, because he put a charm on all human weapons. Finally, Beowulf tears Grendel’s arm from his body at the shoulder and Grendel runs to his home in the marshes to die.

The Second Battle : Grendel’s Mother

The next night, after celebrating Grendel’s death, Hroðgar and his men sleep in Heorot. Grendel’s mother appears, however, and attacks the hall. She kills Hroðgar’s most trusted warrior, Æschere, in revenge for Grendel’s death.

Hroðgar, Beowulf, and their men track Grendel’s mother to her lair under an eerie lake. Beowulf prepares himself for battle; he is presented with a sword, Hrunting, by a warrior called Unferð. After stipulating a number of conditions (upon his death) to Hroðgar (including the taking in of his kinsmen, and the inheritance by Unferð of Beowulf’s estate), Beowulf dives into the lake. There, he is swiftly detected and attacked by Grendel’s mother. Unable to harm Beowulf through his armor, Grendel’s mother drags him to the bottom of the lake. There, in a cavern containing Grendel’s body and the remains of many men that the two have killed, Grendel’s mother and Beowulf engage in fierce combat.

Grendel’s mother at first prevails, after Beowulf, finding that the sword (Hrunting) given him by Unferð cannot harm his foe, discards it in fury. Again, Beowulf is saved from the effects of his opponent’s attack by his armor and, grasping a mighty sword from Grendel’s mother’s armory (which, the poem tells us, no other man could have hefted in battle), Beowulf beheads her. Travelling further into the lair, Beowulf discovers Grendel’s corpse; he severs the head. Beowulf then returns to the surface and to his men at the “ninth hour” (l. 1600, “n?n”, about 3pm). He returns to Heorot, where Hroðgar gives Beowulf many gifts, including Nægling, his family’s heirloom.

The Third Battle : The Dragon

Beowulf returns home and eventually becomes king of his own people. One day, late in Beowulf’s life, a slave steals a golden cup from the lair of an unnamed dragon (sometimes referred to as Sua) (really a wyrm, which is more of a serpent) at Earnaness. When the dragon sees that the cup has been stolen, it leaves its cave in a rage, burning up everything in sight. Beowulf and his warriors come to fight the dragon, but only one of the warriors, a brave young man named Wiglaf, stays to help Beowulf, because the rest are too afraid. Beowulf kills the dragon with Wiglaf’s help, but Beowulf dies from the wounds he has received.

After he is cremated, Beowulf is buried in Geatland on a cliff overlooking the sea, where sailors are able to see his barrow. The dragon’s treasure is buried with him, rather than distributed to his people, as was Beowulf’s wish, because of the curse associated with the hoard.”

For all you Beowulf purists out there who have to read the original Old English poem, I managed to find the next best thing – an adaptation of the old epic poem from the Old English version from Dr David Breeden at Culture Cafe. I wanted to post it up here but it was pretty long… so why don’t you guys check it out over here. It’s pretty interesting. Go ahead, have a look at the ol’ Beowulf epic poem that started it all…

<Look at some other cool stuff at 33 Rebels>

2 Comments »

  • Malissa said:

    this movie is retarded

  • Mia said:

    Good but its crap