Joakim Natterqvist (on poster, above, and below, right) and Sofia Helin (below, left), a passel of Skarsgårds (not Alex but his robust and commanding father Stellan with 3 younger Skarsgårds), Simon Callow, and others in an international cast, Arn's story is more than a galloping bodice-ripper; it deservedly beat 'the Tudors' which it ran against in France. It's value-added by its humanization of the Saracen enemy through Arn's (fictional) combat and friendship with Saladin, the brilliant Sunni leader (born 1138 coincidentally in Saddam's home town of Tikrit, Iraq), who defeated the Christian armies and reclaimed Jerusalem after a near century of rule by the West.
Vincent Perez), then sent home as a young man. There Arn resumes his friendship with the grown and ambitious Knut, (Gustaf Skarsgard), now lying in wait to snatch back the crown from the clan that deposed his father.
While reading English subtitles and listening to the Swedish dialogue, I was struck by the amount of familiar vocabulary that must have made its way into English through waves of Scandinavian invasions to Britain, so much so you almost block out the foreign-ness of the tongue. Everyday expressions recur over and over: "come and go", "catch me if you can", "Welcome", "Hey" , "God's will"'. A strapping Norwegian craving beer in the desert moans, "ule, ule, ule" -- no doubt presaging our word "ale".
Netflix streaming, or via DVD and Blu-ray.
The above post is written by Lee Liberman, who graduated in English Literature from UC Berkeley and has a Masters of Science in Communications Management from Simmons College, Boston. Liberman spent her professional career working in corporate communications, but has continuously free-lanced as writer, photographer, editor in both technical communications and the arts.
Ms Liberman and TrustMovies first communicated over a post on this blog regarding A Heavenly Vintage, a very fine film which she has promised to write about soon. When that happens, her post will appear on this blog.