Director Tarsem Singh is a visionary and that is on display in droves in his latest film, The Immortals, in spectacular 3D. Singh presents his unique take on Greek mythology and paints a visual landscape that recalls the Renaissance paintings that the director says inspires him.
The Immortals follows Theseus (Henry Cavill), a poor man with stellar warrior skills thanks to his training by a mysterious older man in his village. Mickey Rourke is King Hyperion, a vengeful ruler bent on not only ruling the lands of Earth, but bringing down the gods who live on Mt. Olympus.
One does not go to see movies like The Immortals for a chance to see the art of acting. Yet, Cavill is dazzling in his ability to bring a multitude of layers to his Theseus. Rourke, meanwhile, as his arch enemy, manages to portray his evil King with panache without being a caricature. In an action epic, all one can ask is that the battle against evil be one that allows the audience to cheer when the time is right for triumph. In The Immortals, the back and forth between Rourke and Cavill as cinematic foes more than produces a triumphant yelp as their clash is hours in the making.
The star of the film is truly Singh and his eye candy. The set design is a marvel while the battle scenes are choreographed with grace that works like a violent ballet. Stunning is too tame of a word to describe the canvas that the director paints on with The Immortals. And in 3D, a format that Movie Fanatic is extremely picky about, our response to this film’s additional dimension is that Singh’s vision must be witnessed -- if it is to be witnessed at all -- on the big screen.
Fans of the director, whose previous work on The Cell and The Fall are simply visual preludes to the palette of The Immortals, will be more than pleased with his work on the film. Given the scope and permission to create an epic in the vein of the classic studio epics of another Hollywood era, Singh culls his inspiration by painters and crafts a sensory overload in the best of ways.
Next up for Singh is his take on Snow White, Mirror Mirror -- which features Julia Roberts as the evil queen to Lily Collins' titular character -- and let’s just say this: Given what he has achieved with a faulty script and great actors, we can only imagine what the film futurist will do with a classic tale.
When it comes to The Immortals, see it as an Oscar contender in the classic award-winning vein: Visual effects and audio effects and nowhere near any of the other categories. But that is why movies such as The Immortals are big screen experiences. We marvel at what man can do with art and inspiration. The closing shot in the film captures this perfectly. As the camera pulls back from the heavens, you would swear that what is seen belongs in a museum in Europe with a painted by date firmly in the Renaissance.