Monday, August 4, 2008

How Accurate was Alexander, the recent Oliver Stone movie?

Hey Eric,

Regarding your question about the accuracy of Alexander. I finally got around to seeing it, and I here is my review.

Alexander, Oliver Stone’s 150 million dollar epic, is actually pretty accurate. Not perfect, no retelling ever is, however Oliver Stone does faithfully recreates what little we know about the look and feel of the period. His battle scenes are pretty dead on. He even manages to provide a clear picture of Alexander’s upbringing, including his conniving, murdering, snake-charming mother, although I sincerely doubt that Olympias really had snakes with her all the time even though she was a practitioner of the old religions. That being said, I feel compelled to add that Stone’s epic seemed high in gloss and low on humanity. We never really understand what made Alexander great. We are shown a lot of the “what happened,” but never the “why.” This movie is a fine introduction into the world of Alexander, but if you want to learn more about Alexander and enjoy historical fiction, I recommend reading The Persian Boy and Funeral Games by Mary Renault. They are an easy read, and both are wonderful. If you prefer a biography, Alan Fildes and Joann Fletcher's Alexander the Great is excellent. If you are allergic to reading, you can check out the documentary, In The Footsteps of Alexander. We have a link to it in our Store of Knowledge. Now, about the gay question…Alexander, like many men of his times, did have liaisons with both sexes. He lived in a society that considered intimate relationships between men natural; he also lived in a society that believed world conquest was a good thing. It’s foolish to judge him by “modern” standards. This film contains mature content.

Hope my review helps...Lynn

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