A great movie

A great movie

I saw “Master and Commander” and I have to agree with what others have written. It is a great movie. It is easily the best naval war movie made. It may be the most accurate movie on its subject matter, although I am no expert on the early 19th century British naval history and thus not able to comment authoritatively.

I can understand how some people may come out of the movie confused and bewildered. If you are completely unfamiliar with nautical terms and terminology or of the historical context of the era, you will be lost. But given even a smattering of understanding, it is a ripping good sea yarn.

I liked Crowe as Aubrey, although I think Bettany as Maturin did not quite fit the physical image appropriate to the character. The technical achievements were also amazing. I couldn’t tell the difference between the scenes of the actual ship used in the movie and the completely computer-generated scenes.

Apart from the historical and visual accuracy, it was also faithful to the values, morals, and ideas of the time it portrays. It may shock some people to see young boys leading men into battle, but that is in fact the way it was. A 13-year-old boy in 1805 was much more of a grown adult than even a 17-year-old of our time. That in itself says much in reflection on our society.

I can’t wait for the DVD to watch the documentaries and see how all this was done.

N.B. I understand that the USS Constitution was used as the model for the enemy ship in the movie. The Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and is still an official US Navy ship. She is also my favorite attraction in Boston and I had the privilege of seeing her sail from Marblehead, Mass., during her bicentennial voyage a few years ago. It was great to “see” her sail in the movie as she might have done all those years ago.