the architecture of this film is woven into the halcyon wealth and grassy halo days of hollywood, when the pictures were moved by a hand operating a mechanical device, a voice or instrument accompanied in live audience and the light flickered with the cadence of human touch. the story is fantastical and tragic, told by a screen actor/stunt man who is in the hospital waiting to die, recounting this tale of noble europe and north africa in times of horse and rail travel, sword fights, bravado, courtships, honor and legacy… and recounts five men (including c. darwin and a beatifully strong ex-slave from morocco) united in their desire to execute one king odious from spain, mastermind of all species of malevolence. and the sick bard has one cute little girl as captive audience, who remains unaware of the story teller’s selfish designs to committ a grave error… all reflected in this outrageous story, so aesthetically rich that it stains the psyche; tropical islands surrounded by butterfly reefs, a dreadlocked mystic who breaks free of a burning tree like ariel to become a fierce companion to the heros, a twisting masonry labyrinth of woe outside a castle near gibralter… the film is punctuated with rich burgundy and saffron colored silks with characters on them that ripple down through deserts and from high stone walls, signifying the movement of the epic in the author’s mind. the mind that brought this forth (director Tarsem Singh) went to such length and expense to deliver this panoply that it is shocking he could not have manufactured a more sound story. though worthy and incredible to watch, the film falls totally flat in its story telling, as the viewer gets more wrapped up with the selfish dead curiosity of the man in the hospital, trying to die. let hollywood create an oracle of story, rooted in the classics, to which writers and visual creative geniuses appeal… because the makings of a real story are there and ought be seized! despite this concern, the movie is worth seeing, even at full ticket price, in fact, especially if you can see it on the big screen.