Back In Time: Tristan and Isolde (2006 Movie)

Our featured ‘back in time’ movie for today is one set in the Dark Ages; and while reviews had been mixed as most critics say it failed to achieve the sweeping romanticism that it aimed for — as it’s competent but static — we say, the message was delivered well tho there were times when scenes were like a drag. Especially on the supposed love-triangle.

Incidentally, Tristan and Isolde took 2 hours to finish. Quite long, eh?

James Franco (Tristan) and Sophia Myles (Isolde)

But t’was memorable. James Franco is just one of those ‘rare’ stars who’s perfect for ‘sword and sandal’ films. Nahh. Not the gladiator type but the romantic, knight-in-shining-armor type. Yeah! And Sophia Myles? At first glance, one could even mistake her for Kate Winslet. Still, both are just as captivating for movies like these, just as the rest of the cast were great.

So, if one didn’t find such movies as ‘sweeping’.. then it must be in the execution. As for this film, did you actually notice (or remember) that t’is from the director of ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’? Oh, no wonder the drama; yet this one though has a more ‘moving’ love scenario.

The film’s ‘narration’.

Britain, the Dark Ages. The Roman empire has fallen. The land lies in ruins, divided among feuding tribes. To the west, Ireland has flourished — untouched by the Romans, protected by the sea. Led by their powerful and ruthless King, the Irish have subdued the Britons; knowing that if Ireland is to prosper, the tribes must never be allowed to unite.

Frankly, being sort of history-based, the plot is quite common. But the real ‘meat’ is in the evolving romance of Tristan and Isolde that ‘brought down a kingdom’ — as the plot says.


ONE. Tristan and Isolde’s love has been compared to that of Romeo and Juliet — being of different, or coming from opposing clans, so to say. So obviously, such is most likely to incur pain, more than lasting bliss. While love is said to be more powerful than war, how willing are you to really leave everything (homeland, relatives, and all) behind for the sake of love? For the sake of having your own family?


See? Love is sacrifice. And if you are able and truly committed — success and happiness awaits.

TWO. Words intended for King Marke of Cornwall: ‘When a man can’t rule his woman, how can he govern an entire kingdom?’; whether in film or reality, such saying makes sense. Say, if your spouse doesn’t support you in your undertakings, how would you truly succeed? As they say, behind ‘every’ successful man is a ‘supportive’ woman.

Why did God create Eve, anyway? Got the point?

King Marke and Tristan

Problem with modern society is.. If spouses are not like-minded, they divorce if only to attain success and happiness. But that’s not what God wants (but rather follow His laws for ‘real blessings’ to come). This is why the world is plagued with immorality.. And an impending doom. Have you read the Bible lately?

THREE. While Tristan and Isolde’s love did not bring down a kingdom as legend says that Marke defeated the Irish, rebuilt castle D’Or, and reigned in peace until the end of his days — the ‘real’ problem developed when Tristan and Isolde started an ‘untruthful’ relationship.

Isolde didn’t tell Tristan from the start that she was Ireland’s princess while both also didn’t immediately tell Briton’s King Marke that they already had an affair even before Marke was to marry Isolde as a prize to unite the warring factions. Otherwise, Marke would have thought twice; and even so, Tristan may not have fought the tournament in behalf of Marke.

Isolde and her father, the Irish king
Isolde and her father, the Irish king during the tournament

Yes, if there was no wedding between Marke and Isolde, there may not have been a truce of sorts (still, the other Kings would have connived with Marke to kill the ruthless Irish king just the same) but things would not have gotten worse.. And difficult. Especially for Tristan and Isolde. Truthfulness and purpose are important factors when desiring a lasting love.

Yet such is fate.


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