Prince of Persia, created by Jordan Mechner played in huge part in my childhood and growing up. The video games were fascinating and I have been immersed in them for hours. I finished the first four games within a period of a month. 😀 Despite being 2D, backed by a cliched story, Prince of Persia 1 is my personal favorite due to the nostalgia sentiment. Prince of Persia sands of time video game was very interesting and I played it at one stretch. All of these games had the prince in the lead role, with a villain and a beautiful princess, who is either a sidekick or a damsel in distress. The film is loosely based on the game Prince of Persia the sands of time which were the highest rated game at that time! The film is a joy ride but can disappoint you as it is predictable. But the plot is thrilling enough to keep you engrossed.
Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is adopted by the great king Sharaman who has two sons of his own, after witnessing his act of courage. Years later an accident followed by misunderstanding results in a war at the holy city of Alamut where Dastan is involved in a massive conspiracy. Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) joins him in his adventure as she herself has to guard what could be the foundation of human existence, the sands of time.
I watched Prince of Persia sands of time at once stretch and became immersed in it with the visuals and apt casting. The film was not well received both critically and commercially, though it is the highest grossing video game adaptation. Massive budget, time, and manpower had been used for the making of this film. Personally, despite the negative reviews, I enjoyed the film and to me, it is one of the best adventure flicks of the recent times. The plot is designed cleverly and though you might know how the film will end if you are aware of the video game, you will be at the edge of your seats till the resolution. The resolution gives a pleasant feeling at the end with a solid message about love, friendship, brotherhood, and family. What I liked the best is the whole concept surrounding the Prince of Persia being a boy who was adopted from the slums. He has no eyes on the throne nor is he greedy. Yet he is loyal and dedicated. The bond between the brothers and the love king has for his sons were all narrated well. In that way, the film is underrated. The one criticism that follows the film is shallowness and the unnecessary addition of certain plots, Hassansins for eg, could have been avoided as they, in many ways, don’t make sense and affects the flow of the film. Jake Gyllenhaal did an appreciable job as Prince Dastan. He resembles the original video game character and has a good physique. His performance when he is under pressure and the serious moments are on point although his comical acting looked artificial. One of my favorite moments is the scene where he confronts his older brother Tus towards the climax of the film. He is desperate and knows that going only step ahead will convince his brother. Gemma Arterton with her voice and perfect accent filled the screen with her grace. I just despised the fact that she was objectified and faced sexist slurs at several points, like when the Sheikh says that she is worth two camels. Then Dastan harasses her twice! When will Hollywood filmmakers (or is it a worldwide phenomenon) understand that harassing a heroine is neither romantic nor heroic?
Tamina makes a pass at Dastan early on and tries to seduce him at one point, both moments only affected the integrity of both Dastan and Tamina. Otherwise, the character arc of both Dastan and Tamina are well done. Plus, was it necessary to whitewash Tamina? Persians are Caucasian descendants but Tamina hails from Asia and could have been portrayed by an Asian or middle east actress. Ben Kingsley stuck to his standards though he is only typified. I guess that is pointed out as a major drawback in the overall structure. Alfred Molina stole the show with adequate comic timing and one-liners that you will remember after the film.
Harry Gregson Williams composed haunting scores for the film and the scene where Dadsttan draws out his sword after blocking the army gives you goosebumps. Mike Newell’s direction made Prince of Persia an enjoyable flick leaving the signature of an adventure you like to climb aboard on. Prince of Persia sands of time is worth your time and you will like it if you like an adventure film and if you rule out the repulsive cliches.