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also known as Linhas de Wellington

Lines of Wellington2012

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  • 3.5
This lavish, star-studded epic set during The Napoleonic Wars of 1810 chronicles a multitude of characters (soldiers and civilians, men, women and children, young and old) as their everyday lives are torn apart by war. Dragged through hills and valleys, between ruined villages, and across charred forests and devastated crops, none can escape the chaos of the times, no matter their station. The idealistic young lieutenant Pedro de Alencar; Clarissa Warren, the malicious little English girl; the shady dealer Penabranca; the vindictive Sergeant Francisco Xavier; and the lusty prostitute Martírio will all follow different paths to the lines of Torres, where the final battle will decide each of their fates.

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1 member likes this review

Requires a lot of patience- but pays it off nicely. Serious but humane, languorous yet compelling- wonderful photography immerses the viewer into the landscape and milieu. Characters are vivid and really sustain the pace; while the violence is brutal, it's never played for action- conveying the realities of war, boredom and slaughter. Fascinating film- incredible production.

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Member Reviews (4)

Requires a lot of patience- but pays it off nicely. Serious but humane, languorous yet compelling- wonderful photography immerses the viewer into the landscape and milieu. Characters are vivid and really sustain the pace; while the violence is brutal, it's never played for action- conveying the realities of war, boredom and slaughter. Fascinating film- incredible production.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Improbable story of goings on during Napolean's attempted capture of Lisbon. Characters come and go and weave themselves in and out of the action in an often times confusing tapestry. Keeps you interested all through(if a little mystified0. John Malkovich's considerable talent is not on display here unfortunately.A few less characters and story lines would have helped move the plot along.

Despite the demands laid out ahead of time by an epic premise, Valeria Sarmiento, the Chilean filmmaker and widow of the original director, Raul Ruiz, finishes the job by fleshing the story out perfectly: instead of indulging in the grandiose, she loosens the tension of each story and thereby tones down the breadth and sweep of any potentially excessive lyricism into an overall coherent impression, one that is more lifelike and accessible. As in so many epic films (or novels), in which the further lionization of the already heroically celebrated is regurgitated and fawned over, Sarmiento focuses her energies differently. Given a superb cast of actors to draw on, as well as superb cinematography and production values, a consistency of understatement, along with an accompanying lowbrow humanity, reigns and shines with an intensity that holds the overall arc of the war's end and its retelling in a sophisticated way—one that resembles less the easy pandering of a larger-than-life stage production like 'Les miserable,' and more the mature, insightful and matter-of-fact delineation of a Tolstoy-like reinterpretation of history as in 'War In Peace.' Romance (of a kind) and magic are still lurking and, at times, present, (as they are in Tolstoy's book), but are kept in check well within the confines of individually-recalled or first-hand plausible history as it was experienced from the ground up—as opposed to being unfolded beneath a grand facade by the lackeys of kings or popes or generals. If one has a taste for understatement, this is your kind of epic.

story line very confusing.