Not a bad flick. As with most Ridley Scott flicks the historical research was top notch. I’m not an expert on the material culture of the times(12th Century Europe) but I know alittle about the military history of the era and I have to say that it was pretty close to accurate.
The thing that really hit me, however, was what I perceived to be a great message in the movie. This isn’t a spoiler because it was in all the trailers. At one point the Hero’s “cleric” of sorts says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is here” pointing to his head ” and here.” pointing to his heart. This is a central theme throughout the movie and oh how true it is.
The reason for the Crusades, or so said those leading the Crusades, was to return the Holy Land to the Christians. To create the “Kingdom of Heaven” by setting a Christian King on the throne in Jerusalem. Bah. Rubbish. Christ didn’t demand that we conquer the world. Christ demanded the we share his testimony which is to say spread the Good News of his life, death, and Resurrection. Christ told us to love Him with all our heart, mind, and soul. Those three words define the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. It is in the hearts, minds, and the souls of the believers. There is no wall that can protect it. There is no mortal King fit to rule it. There is certainly no enemy that can defeat it. This is a point the Hero of the movie makes plain I think.
Another thing that set me to wondering was the depiction of Saladin(phonetic). The Syrian King who turned into a legend among the Muslim people for his wars against the Crusaders. I hear the barbarians talk about Saladin and how they sometimes claim to mirror their “struggle” with his. Now, I don’t know much about Mr. Saladin but I intend to read up on him a bit. If Mr. Scott’s historical research is up to par in this movie then it may turn out that what I read about him is mirrored with the character portrayed in the movie. If that is the case Damascus trembles everytime the barbarians set off a car bomb as Saladin spins in his grave.
So…Kingdom of Heaven is a good flick and thought provoking for those of us who turn to history to discern future events. Award winning movie? Probably not, but the cinematography is fabulous in the battle scenes and the scenes are well presented. I didn’t see any GLARING military faux pas and the story was itself was well done.
Go see it.