‘Beowulf & Grendel’ (2005) – Ancient Epic Brought to Screen

Canadian-Icelandic director Sturla Gunnarsson brings an immense, poetic truth to the screen with his adaptation of one of the earliest-known recorded stories in the English language, Beowulf. The film features Gerard Butler (300, Gods of Egypt) as a legendary hero who goes head-to-head with Grendel, a fearsome giant. It also features a cameo by the celebrated Canadian actress-director Sarah Polly (Stories We Tell), who plays a rogue witch.

This is cinematic storytelling at it’s best- at times suspenseful, exciting, funny, and awe-inspiring. Gunnarsson has used the canvas of cinema to take in the raw power and immensity of the natural world.

We need more films like this, drawing from the deep, meaningful reservoirs of mythology and ancient lore. Such films, like their founding stories, present an immersive, total, almost cosmological language for understanding the world and our place in it. A near-perfect film, if such a thing can exist.

★★★★★/5 stars.

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