Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Having no preconceptions about this movie, I was very pleasantly surprised. It was informative, the pace was steady and the acting good.
This film is based on the life of Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church in the 16th century. Initially a law student, he become a Catholic monk after surviving a particularly terrible storm. The Father of his monastry sent him to study and he became a Professor of Theology who was bright, entertaining and had the common touch. He eventually became disillusioned with the Catholic church and held a belief that God was loving and through the Bible should be accessible to all.
Obviously written from the perspective of the Lutheran church rather than the Catholic, there are some scenarios that may not be tasteful to some. However, with an open mind, accepting of the past as past, it is a film that can be enjoyed and considered.
Joseph Fiennes (who I recognized from Shakespeare in Love) plays Martin Luther. He strongly portrays a haunted Martin and the character as written (such as having a talent for the written word but only occasional flashes or oratory brilliance) is realistic. Sir Peter Ustinov is perfect as the amiable Prince Frederick the Wise and the supporting cast overall played their parts credibly and with feeling.