Phillipe the mouse (Mathew Broderick) is an everyday thief. The extraordinary thing about him; he broke out of the dungeons, something no man had ever done before. On the run from the guards he is rescued by a man called Navarre (Rutger Hauer) who demands that Phillipe shows him the way into the castle so he can kill the Bishop (John Wood). And this is where the most tragic love story begins. The Hawk that travels with Navarre is actually the woman he loves, Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer). They were lovers, but the Bishop who was rejected by her, cursed them with dark magic so they would be always apart; her a hawk during the day, him a wolf at night. Neither to remember what happened as they were animals.
You have to bear with the beginning. It is rather blah. Everyone is over acting their way through their parts, and it’s annoying. But, around the middle of the film, when we discover the curse and see the love still there between Isabeau and Navarre, it’s hard to look away from the screen. I wanted to see them break the curse and live happily ever after. It broke my heart every time I saw one or the other in panic as they almost lost the love of their lives.
It is a magical love story.
Mathew Broderick is great as Phillipe, even though he is out shone by the mastery of Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer. They steal the show completely. I just wish the writers hadn’t made Phillipe constantly chatter away to God. It feels like they were filling in empty space. It didn’t really add to the story.
And on the topic of annoying, I hated the soundtrack for this film. It really sounds corny.
Not to mention the final fight scene is too long, I don’t understand why the Bishop has no emotional reaction to seeing Navarre or even tries to flee for his life. Or why the people stand there watching. Where is the fear? Where are the screams and head for an exit?
On the plus side, they nailed it with the transitions from human to animal and back again. There is no fussing over it, very little effects and the effects they have used are seamless. This is good and makes the film timeless.
And then we come back to the story as the other great thing and you’re probably get sick and tired of me going on and on about the love story, but that’s what makes up for all of the stuff ups. And it’s what makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and grinning like a lovesick fool. Curl up with this for some romance.