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The Four Feathers

April 11, 2009

Originally posted on December 16, 2003


Story

The Four Feathers is set during the 1870s, an English officer resigns his commission when he learns that his regiment is to be sent to battle in the Sudan. Three of his friends, and his fiance each give him a single white feather marking him as a coward. He is completely forsaken by all, save his best friend, but even he stays away. He then decides that he must too travel to the Sudan and do everything he can to protect his friends.

Once there, he is befriended by an African and together they do everything they can to keep his friends safe. Eventually one friend is killed in battle, another returns to England with honor, one is held in an African prison, and his best friend is blinded permanently by a misfired rifle. The forsaken man allows himself to be captured so that he can free his imprisoned friend, which he is able to do with a great deal of help from his African friend. They both return to England, where his blind best friend is now engaged to his former fiance. His best friend, one of only two truly noble people in the movie, decides to remove himself from the engagement thus allowing his friend and his former fiance to wed.

I like the fact that the main character tries everything to redeem himself. I like the fact his best friend stuck by him at all times, and always conducted himself with dignity and honor. I like the African friend and his willingness to help his English friend even though at times he acts foolishly. What I don’t like, is the wishy-washy fiance. Pick a guy, and stick with him. I hate how the movie ends that way. I would have rather had a tragic ending. One in which the forsaken man returns to England after redeeming himself, and yet is still unable to marry the women that he loves. It just irks me.

Story = 10

Cast

Heath Ledger, Djimon Hounsou, Kate Hudson, and Wes Bentley. There were of course actors, but these are the only truly noteworthy mentions, and that isn’t a good thing necessarily. Ledger had moments, but I think the script just held him back. He was good with the part he was given, but that part just wasn’t that great to begin with. Hudson is slightly different. Not only was she given a weak part, but her acting was lackluster too. Just get an Englishwomen to play an Englishwomen. I was too busy thinking that her accent wasn’t that great while watching her. Wes Bentley, on the other hand, had me fooled. He had the uptight and proper Englishmen down. I wouldn’t have guessed he was from Arkansas. Hounsou was excellent as the African friend, and man, he is friggin huge. The other bit characters were stale and predictable giving the overall acting a diminished score.

Cast = 14

Soundtrack/Score

I like the occasional eastern song, but having a whole soundtrack laden with it just about drove me bonkers.

Soundtrack/Score = 06

Quote/Catch Phrase

I can’t quite recall a good line.  I remember a discussion between Ledger and Hounsou in which Hounsou states that he is helping Ledger because God put him before his path or something like that.  So, I guess that could pass as a catch phrase, but obviously not a great one as I can’t recall the wording.  That is especially bad considering that I just watched the film yesterday.

Quote/Catch Phrase = 08

Rewatchability

If you like long, drawn out, and boring films, then you hit the jackpot with this film.  Throw in a poor script, oft times bad acting from the leads, and a stale secondary cast, and you have yourself a classic.

Rewatchability = 02

Total Score = 40

This score might be lower than White Oleander, but please don’t be fooled. White Oleander was worse.

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