Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

'al Heaven 'al! Just saw the movie. Its long, boring and disturbing.

So I suppose we Muslims should be happy with this movie. Couldn't help but ask myself, is it supposed to be portraying us fairly, and so I should be happily surprised? Who is this Belya guy in the movie? Why is he the hero. So they got the Syrian guy to act the role why? To have an Arabic accent, and insist on calling himself Salahul Din, Salahul Din (reform of religion). I don't know, I didn't like it, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood. I'm glad they censored that sex scene. If they hadn't I would've probably developed a psychotic problem with sex all together, watching it done in the midst of so much blood and violence.

Can we just burn Jerusalem and get it over with? I'm glad we have Mecca for ourselves. But even there, Muslims fight among themselves to touch and kiss the black stone, and to pray over at elrawda alshareefa. We'll turn anything into idols, won't we!

The best part of it, was walking home from the movie theatre, right next to the Nile with my to-be-divorced friend.


The Sandmonkey said...

Man, i think you defintly weren't in the mood.

Salahul Din? Reform of religion? Do you think, considering that it is actually the guy's name, that you maybe reading too much into it?

And are you actually mad that they had an arab protraying Salaheldeen? Would you have ratherd they used someone spanish like Antonio Banderas(13th warrior) or someone jewish like david suchet ( executive decision), both of which looking nothing like real arabs in reality? And btw, Lord Belial of Ebelin is an actual historic character by the way, altough the whole blacksmith- bastard-son-of-godfrey thing isn't.

As for the sex scene, it actually makes perfect sense that it is done amidsts all of this violence. It's a natural and great way to relieve pressure, fear and tension, and it's probably one of the main reasons why people didn't turn completly psychotic during all of this blood and violence as you put it. Nothing like the idea that you might die violently tommorow to make you seek the intimacy of sex with someone. Why this idea would have you develop a psychotic problem with sex all together, i haven't a clue. care to explain?

DNA said...

I'm guessing Mo's been influenced by Kubrick's Clockwork Orange.

And I won't watch it because the Guardian thinks it is more like the Purgatory of Hell. Yes, I'm THAT shallow.

Mohamed said...

Sure, I'll explain. Well, I didn't find the movie special in any way. Overall, it was long, boring, and mostly disturbing. I was actually in a very good mood, I was just trying to be nice to the so many people who liked the movie, by questioning that it might be my mood, not the movie! I'm not mad at anything in the movie by the way. I'm just indifferent.

Basically, I find nothing special about the movie whatsoever. Yeah, Balian is a real character, who's not really a bastard blacksmith, who actually went out in the Heteen battle, and who aided the following waves of the Crusades after he surrendered Jerusalem (which are a few inaccuracies in the movie that I don't care about). But its not who he is, its why he's the hero, that's my question. But I understand. In an Arabic version we have Saladin as the hero, in the Hollywood version, Balian is the hero, and they were kind enough to portray Saladin nicely. And ofcourse, even the Crusaders have to have a hero.

I'll give credit to the movie in one thing, and that's that you do end up hating intolerant extremists from both sides. Midway through the movie, I was thinking, we should really burn Jerusalem and get it over with, and then Balian stole my line in his "negotiations" with Saladin. That is the theme of the movie, isn't it?! and I acutally kinda agree.

As for Masoud, I'm not complaining that he's Arab. But he didn't add much as far as I'm concerned. Antonio Banderas would've done the role just as good. Yes, his name is actually Salahul Din, but I couldn't help but read that reform of religion thing, when he stressed the strong Arabic pronounciation with the damma at the end of Salah, and said it twice in a row ("I'm not them, I'm Salahul Din, I'm Salahul Din"). When did you ever hear Saladin and Aladin pronounced like that in Hollywood.

As for sex, the problem is not with them having sex in between battles, its me watching it in the midst of all that --so I'm glad they cut it. But everyone views sex differently, and thinks of it differently I guess. Personally, I don't like mixing sex with violence and blood.

praktike said...

re: the sex scene, all you probably missed was a few seconds of somebody's bare back. nothing much. Of course, there's no evidence that sibilya and balian ever got it on, though supposedly there was some court intrigue to get rid of guy de lusignan, but she refused.

As for saladin, here's something funny: there's an African-American city councilman in Pittsburgh who renamed himself "Sala Udin" when he decided to become a politician. His current primary opponent tried (unsuccessfully) to challenge the legality of his candidacy on the grounds that his real name is Samuel Howze. I've met him a few times and liked him, so I'm glad the paper endorsed him. Maybe the movie will give him a boost.

Mohamed said...

Probably Udin can get the Muslim vote using that name :)

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the other interesting errours in the movie. namely 1) when they were praying on the beach, they were so far apart...whatever happened to standing shoulder to shoulder...

2) when Salahul Din is presiding over the funeral scene and he goes bismi allah alrahman al raheem alhamdulillah etc..and then skips the next 80%

3)it seems the director gets some personal glee out of inserting asalaamu alaikum everywhere, and then having the other person reply in english: and peace be upon you. Umm...where's the Waaleikum asalaam wa ramatullahi wa barakatuhu?

just personal ranting, that's all.

Mohamed said...

Yes, I noticed 1) and 2) (this one made me laugh loudly in the middle of the theatre), and also when they were praying outside of Jerusalem, they were praying Jama'a while the athan was being called! I didn't wanna mention this stuff though 'cause I knew people would say I'm picking on the silly stuff. But what's interesting is that I read that Ridley Scott always asked Masoud to get his 'Arab' opinion on the movie and changed things based on his opinion. Huh! apparently Masoud can't even pray!

praktike said...

Sala Udin lost the election, in case you're curious. Not living up to his big name!

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