Revenge of Grendel’s Mother

Well, I just spent a couple hours this afternoon at the matinee wasting the afternoon of a too rare vacation day. Its a good thing I went to see it in 3D because that was the most interesting thing about it (even in a regular cinema, not IMAX). It was sort of like watching a video game with a ten year old at the controls…

It had a rather unusual cast of characters: Beowulf the naked acrobat, Hrothgar the suicidal, and Unfrith the Christian. I really didn’t get the Christianity angle in the movie, was that just supposed to show that demons are stronger or what? Someone tell me what I have missed!

He is Beowulf! His fame is known for here to Vinland! Vinland? Shame that’s not in the old poem, it would have made it so much easier to date. Its also a shame that Beowulf never bothered to return home and be the last great king of the Geats. It did resolve the age old failure of the poem in that Beowulf can’t be a considered a good king without producing a son, but then again the dragon-son who burns and smashes up the kingdom is not really the ideal son. But I really must say that Grendel’s mother, a water demon, did steal the show… seducing Hrothgar, Beowulf and presumably Wiglaf in turn, bearing them sons who destroy their kingdoms, begetting a never ending cycle of destruction (personal and community). So in the end, Beowulf is just another hero who succumbs to her wiles and gets his just reward.

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4 comments on “Revenge of Grendel’s Mother

  1. saesferd says:

    I’m still not sure whether I want to see this film or not, yet. It doesn’t seem to bear much resemblance to the Beowulf poem, from what I’ve read of it, except in keeping the names and the general plot. If I just go to be entertained by a good tale and the spectacle of special effects,and forego wearing my critical academic head, is it a film worth seeing?

  2. If you like the 3D semi-animation type movie, then you would probably enjoy it. It had a video game type feel to it, to me. I’m don’t play video games so that aspect probably appealed less to me than to people who like video or computer games.

  3. saesferd says:

    I don’t play video/computer games either, so I think I may be giving this film a miss. Recently I saw a news article on TV, lightheartedly (I hope) suggesting the Battle of Maldon as a sequel to Beowulf, and as a candidate for the Hollywood treatment !

  4. I have to admit I would not see the film.
    That centre of the tale, the fight with G’s mother, has struck me as very much the turn of the tale. What I do find interesting is that G’s mother as the progenitor of a family has to be killed to allow the family of Hrothgar to survive. And that Beowulf, who is to be the last of the family of the Geats is the one to do it.

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