Immortals, the 3D epic Greek adventure directed by the chimerical Tarsem Singh is visually interesting, filled with copious amounts of violence and narrated with a stunted storyline. Advertised as from the same producers of 300, Immortals is aptly filled with half-naked muscular warriors, beautiful maidens and detailed computer generated scenes of epic battles and wrenching family drama.
Based on Greek mythology, brutal and bloodthirsty King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) and his armies are razing all of Greece in search of the invincible Bow of Epirus which has the powers to overthrow the Gods of Olympus and release the titans, long buried in a mountain, waiting to wreck havoc on the world. The only hope for the remaining Greeks is a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) who has been secretly trained by Zeus (John Hurt as human, Luke Evans as God). With the help of a gifted Oracle (Frieda Pinto) and a band of slaves (Stephen Dorff, Alan Van Sprang), Theseus manages to win the epic battle with King Hyperion.
Some parts of the movie are cinematically stunning as expected from the visionary Tarsem Singh, but even with his otherworldly masterpieces behind him, The Cell, The Fall, Immortals doesn’t fully live up to his capabilities. The 3D effect is stiff at times and many of landscapes look nothing more spectacular than one would find in the latest video game. The costumes, designed by Eiko Ishioka are genius particularly the masks worn by King Hyperion’s army. Mickey Rourke gives an especially evil performance and Frieda Pinto as Phaedra proves to be a bonafide movie star in the making.
Immortals producer Mark Canton knew they’d found their Phaedra in Pinto. “It was time for her to step up and be a real movie star,” he says. “She’s phenomenal looking. She’s very dedicated and a real professional. She felt like the most natural part of the movie for us. There was no question that we wanted Freida Pinto.”
Pinto’s striking beauty and otherworldly air won Tarsem Singh’s immediate approval. “Phaedra needed to be exotic compared to most of the people in her world,” says Singh. “People might expect that because it’s a Greek film, she would be Greek, but that’s not what I envisioned. When I met Freida I just said, she’s it.”
Pinto had been a fan of Singh’s since seeing his 2006 fantasy, The Fall. “I was impressed by the way it appealed to all the senses,” she says. “I thought this film had the potential to do the same. When I first met him, I did not know what to expect. He explained the reason behind doing this film, what he expected the film to look like, and what was expected of me and the other actors. It all sounded larger-than-life and fantastical. I really wanted to be part of it.” For her first big studio film Pinto says she feels lucky to have had Singh to guide her. “Tarsem is one of the most encouraging directors you will ever meet,” she says. “Working on a big-budget project like this, time is literally money, but he was always patient and open to suggestions. When you work on a film like this, the emotions that you go through are so explosive. I’m just so excited, and that’s exactly what I want the audience to feel.”
Immortals opens 11.11.11.