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  #51  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:01 PM
Sazi
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You're absolutely right on that one, Malene.
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  #52  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:19 PM
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I cannot imagine any other actor portraying Balian at this point at all. And I still believe Orlando did a fantastic job. Quoting ms-erupt:

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Originally Posted by ms_erupt
But I sometimes wonder if he's too trained. He's so proper in the way that he approaches a character and so...contained. Perhaps in a few years, when he's more comfortable and confident of his own skills he'll learn to let go and listen to his instincts.
This is exactly what I meant. I'm not saying he needs to go way out there and do something flamboyant like Johnny Depp did. I'm just talking about learning subtleties in timing which only experience can give you. That's what I mean by it may have benefitted him to do this role when he gained a few years under his belt.

I agree with Leggybelle that Balian is not Maximus or Braveheart and the comparisons that critics love to draw between these characters are ridiculous. They wanted "commanding" but Balian was never supposed to be commanding. Maximus had better be because he was a general. But there was nothing subtle about the Maximus character. Balian required for Orlando to show inner struggle. That task in itself is difficult enough but I just think that Orlando would have been better served had he NOT been so trained and proper. The scene that Leggybelle mentioned with Saladin is a very good one. It is a good example of what he's capable of. (And remember, this is just my opinion.) I think Orlando just needs to take into account when he delivers his lines, pauses and emphasis in the right places along with appropriate facial expression makes all the difference in the world.

I'm also placing the blame on squarely on Scott's and the script writer's shoulders as well. The script was complicated and dumbed down quite a bit for public consumption. Scott cut out quite a bit of the film. This serves to diminish the character and the way Orlando played the part. If certain scenes were cut out and his performance was predicated on an arc Orlando perceived his character was following in those scenes, then naturally we, as the audience, may have missed out on very crucial pieces to a whole performance.

God, I hope that made sense.

*ducks the eggs*
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  #53  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malene
After having dumped a truckload of manure on Sereins doorstep and bombarded her windows with rotten eggs.

I do see what you mean and all that.
But frankly,by now I can't see anyone else playing Balian better.And I don't actually care enough about any other actors to even want to see anyone else,but that's just me.

About Johnny Depp.
PoTC was his first blockbuster movie. His first.
Think about that.
He was in the business for two decades before he took on a role like that.
I would say that Orlando has more guts.Johnny has been doing "his own thing" for so long that no director would even think of telling him how to play the character. A lot of his movies were unsuccesful,by the way.Not bad,just unsuccesful.
For now,I think it is great that Orlando is a directors actor.It is early in his career.In time,he will probably invent his "own thing" like Johnny and others.But at this time he is willing to put his *ss on the line for the directors he has worked for.I remember him saying that Will Turner is a bit of a stick in the mud and he wished he could have been cool like Jack Sparrow.But he didn't have the power to go and change the character the way Johnny did with Jack,he was too young and new in the game,so he played the character the way the director wanted it.Ending up being called a bad actor by some people because Jack is so much cooler than Will.
But I think that has earned him high regard with the directors,which will lead to good roles in the future,working for the same directors after earning the "right" to create his own trademark on his characters.
So that is my take on this.
I disagree. I'd say if either of them has more guts it's Johnny Depp. He has been putting his own touches on characters ever since Ed Wood, Ed Scissorhands and all his earlier movies. Around the start of his career and at the same age as Orlando is now. You're right, most of his movies haven't been commercial sucesses (though most of them are critical sucesses). But, he's never let the fact that a movie might not have "something for everyone" stop him from taking on a role. He takes roles that are interesting and difficult to play rather than going for the gold and I think that takes a whole lot of guts and deserves a certain amount of respect. Not to say that Orlando doesn't have guts. He's a smart kid and if being an "director's actor" suits his interests, then more power to him.

As far as the Deppster doing his own thing. I think he's given more leway because directors recognize that he's a talented actor. Not because the directors are "afraid" to tell him how to act. He has a knack for being able to become the character as opposed to just acting.

Anyhow, moving on. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I think that Orlando is a very talented actor. Pretty face or not, I wouldn't be a fan if he wasn't.But, as he has said himself, he could be better. And I personally think he will be when he trusts himself more and has a bit more experience. Sorry if anyone thinks I'm "bashing" him. Just my humble opinion.

Just saw Serein's post. I think she, again, said it better than I ever could. I'm not saying that he should be as out there and flamboyant as Johnny Depp. I'm saying that Johnny Depp trusts himself enough to let go when he's playing a role and perhaps, with experience, Orlando will learn to do the same.

Last edited by ms_erupt; June 10th, 2005 at 09:31 PM.
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  #54  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:30 PM
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I don't believe any of us is bashing him here. I am certainly not even if it may sound that way. I'd just like to think we are fans with discerning taste. This discussion is proof that we're not always here to swoon or scream our heads off at the poor man.
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  #55  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:31 PM
Malene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serein
This is exactly what I meant. I'm not saying he needs to go way out there and do something flamboyant like Johnny Depp did. I'm just talking about learning subtleties in timing which only experience can give you. That's what I mean by it may have benefitted him to do this role when he gained a few years under his belt.
Yes,but Ridley Scott wanted to make the movie now . He had waited
a long time to do this movie,he finally could,and he chose Orlando for the part.Now.
No way would Orlando turn that dowm. He would be insane to.Just think of the experience it brings him,good and bad,for his very bright future.

I think it is proper that fans aren't blind regarding Orlando's performances,BTW.But keeps bombarding Serein with rotten eggs just for the hell of it.

For the record,I respect and love Johnny Depp.
But his and Orlandos careers are very different.And I still believe Orlando is the gutsiest one. That is just a matter of opinion.

Last edited by Malene; June 10th, 2005 at 09:34 PM.
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  #56  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:32 PM
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I think if Orlando would be nothing but a pretty face, we'd be bored with him already. At least I would've been. But he is so much more than that, he's a remarkable person and a wonderful actor. No one is bashing him, but there's nothing wrong with being critical sometimes.
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  #57  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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Yeah, just re-reading my post. I sound like an infomerical for Johnny Depp stick on tattoos or something.

Aaaanyhoo, I agree with Malene that Orlando would have been insane to turn down this role once he had a chance to take it. But, may have served him better if he had been offered such a role further down the road. That said, I couldn't imagine anyone else playing Balian. Scott chose him because he thought he could do a good job portraying someone go grows as much as Balian does during the movie and he did do an excellent job. Better than a lot of critics give him credit for.

Side note, but glad I'm part of a board where a little critiquing isn't considered a "diss".
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  #58  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:53 PM
Malene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms_erupt

Side note, but glad I'm part of a board where a little critiquing isn't considered a "diss".
You know,we love Orlando,the man. The whole package.Because he is like Sazi says, a remarkable person, besides being so beautiful it hurts sometimes.But we are mature enough to know that no one is perfect.
And the day he delivers that perfect performance that will make everyone's jaw drop,even on the nastiest ImdB fanboys,we will be very very happy and proud.
Because it will come.
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  #59  
Old June 10th, 2005, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malene
You know,we love Orlando,the man. The whole package.Because he is like Sazi says, a remarkable person, besides being so beautiful it hurts sometimes.But we are mature enough to know that no one is perfect.
And the day he delivers that perfect performance that will make everyone's jaw drop,even on the nastiest ImdB fanboys,we will be very very happy and proud.
Because it will come.
Well said Malene. I'll drink to that.

And when that happens, I'm going to be completely immature and pull out every "I told you so", "ha ha" dance and on everyone who's mean to him just for the sake of being mean. (Although, they'd probably still be mean for the sake of being mean. )

Last edited by ms_erupt; June 10th, 2005 at 10:02 PM.
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  #60  
Old June 10th, 2005, 10:01 PM
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Very well said Malene!!!
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  #61  
Old June 10th, 2005, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malene
And the day he delivers that perfect performance that will make everyone's jaw drop,even on the nastiest ImdB fanboys,we will be very very happy and proud.
Because it will come.
I don't doubt that for a second. The potential is all there. It's just a matter of time and experience.

Malene is right though, no one is perfect but we appreciate him for all his flaws too. I'm sure he realizes what he could have done differently after watching himself (which must be kind of an odd feeling). It's so easy for a critic or a fan like myself to have watched the film and pick it apart. You couldn't pay me enough money to go out on a limb like Orlando has. He risked his reputation and that of Ridley Scott's with KoH and that takes guts.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serein
I'm sure he realizes what he could have done differently after watching himself (which must be kind of an odd feeling). It's so easy for a critic or a fan like myself to have watched the film and pick it apart. You couldn't pay me enough money to go out on a limb like Orlando has. He risked his reputation and that of Ridley Scott's with KoH and that takes guts.
You're absolutely right. It's easy to say this or that from the theatre chair, but much harder when you're the one on the screen. So, must be a very strange experience. Anyhow, it took a lot of courage from Orlando to take on the role. He really (to use an expression from where I'm from) showed his a**. Had the movie just sank he would have sank along with it. So, I have to respect that.
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  #63  
Old June 10th, 2005, 10:23 PM
Malene
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Originally Posted by ms_erupt
You're absolutely right. It's easy to say this or that from the theatre chair, but much harder when you're the one on the screen. So, must be a very strange experience. Anyhow, it took a lot of courage from Orlando to take on the role. He really (to use an expression from where I'm from) showed his a**. Had the movie just sank he would have sank along with it. So, I have to respect that.
Well,it didn't sink. It is a wonderful film that I will enjoy for years.
It has not only our wonderful Orlando,but also Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons and many more great actors.Martin Csokas is a great villain,for instance.Plus the EE DVD will complete it,I think.Perhaps those of us who think Orlando should have waited a bit to take on something like this,will see the character come together and be whole, and NOT have those feelings anymore.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 10:29 PM
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KoH may not have made hundreds of millions here in the US but it's doing very well elsewhere and I'm very happy about that. This is certainly a movie that Orlando can look back on and still be very proud of. It's not like he made "Dude, Where's My Car?" or something equally inane.

I hope you're right about the EE DVD, Malene. I hope it fills out the characters and gives Balian a little more dimension. It's funny, we get so spoiled from the complete EE DVD verisons of LotR movies, we come to expect it from every epic film now.
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  #65  
Old June 10th, 2005, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serein
It's not like he made "Dude, Where's My Car?" or something equally inane.


Exactly. Orlando is spoiling us. His standards are so much higher than that of many of his peers that we expect Oscar worthy material from him.And that says something about him, and also his fans..yes,that's us.
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  #66  
Old June 10th, 2005, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malene
Well,it didn't sink. It is a wonderful film that I will enjoy for years.
It has not only our wonderful Orlando,but also Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons and many more great actors.Martin Csokas is a great villain,for instance.Plus the EE DVD will complete it,I think.Perhaps those of us who think Orlando should have waited a bit to take on something like this,will see the character come together and be whole, and NOT have those feelings anymore.
Perhaps. Either way, I know I'll enjoy the Extended Edition because, despite all of the cuts, I enjoyed the theatrical version.

Hmmm, to bring this thread back to Balian. I think that this character is a role model that any person can be proud of. He has an amazing amount of integrity and yet, doesn't come off as holier than thou or self-righteous. I like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serein
KoH may not have made hundreds of millions here in the US but it's doing very well elsewhere and I'm very happy about that. This is certainly a movie that Orlando can look back on and still be very proud of. It's not like he made "Dude, Where's My Car?" or something equally inane.
Serein. Ah, the US box office is overrated. Straight from the mouth of an American.

Last edited by ms_erupt; June 10th, 2005 at 10:44 PM.
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  #67  
Old June 10th, 2005, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms_erupt
Hmmm, to bring this thread back to Balian. I think that this character is a role model that any person can be proud of. He has an amazing amount of integrity and yet, doesn't come pff as holier than thou or self-righteous. I like that.
Yes! Despite my criticism, I find that his portrayal suits the character very well. I think he would not have had empathy from the audience had he come off as self-righteous. He had his own code of honor with which he did struggle with but did not expect others to follow his direction. That is a testament to one aspect of Orlando's acting skill where facial expressions and general downplay of scenes work for this character.
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  #68  
Old June 11th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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I find that his portrayal suits the character very well.
The character of Balian is actually written to be quite young. He has a young wife and has lost a single young child. Most children died under a year of age until modern times. His spiritual quest is also one that a person undertakes at an early age.

My problem with Balian as a character is that the central issue of morality is quite muddled. Balian kills out of rage, then goes to repent. He never really does which leaves this quest as a McGuffin to get him to Jerusalem. Then he kills for the horse (property) which really isn't virtuous (though a great sequence). Then, he has sex with another man's wife, really not virtuous. Then, he refuses to overthrow Guy to rescue the kingdom and save Sybilla from a monster husband which just doesn't ring true. Hospitaler has already said that virtue is defending the helpless, in this case, doing what is right for the people rather than for oneself. Balian acts for himself.

The only thing holding this story line together is Bloom as Bloom who can portray goodness as few actors can.

All for now, Filmlover/Ellen
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Old June 11th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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I'm not sure Balian is supposed to be a completely good guy. He is supposed to be struggling to try to be the best he can be.

For instance,he does have sex with another man's wife.But it is a far cry from doing that and killing the other man.
He kills for the horse because it is either giving up the horse,or dying in the desert.Balian chooses to try and live,for which he must fight.
In basic,he does what he thinks he needs to do.I don't think anyone has implied that this man is a perfect person,or that we expect him to be.

Last edited by Malene; June 11th, 2005 at 04:40 PM.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 05:08 PM
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I have to agree with Malene in that Balian is far from a saint. However, he does draw the line as to how much he is willing to sin. He may be more than willing to dally with a man's wife but he will not be respnsible for not only Guy's execution but all his knights that will not swear allegiance. That's a lot of blood on one's hands. And I don't see him fighting for the horse as a fight for property as much as a fight for survival.

My issue with Orlando was whether he had the acting maturity to portray Balian. He gives the character the right physical appearance and the vulnerability inherent in someone thrust into a leadership role he's not ready for. I just believe he could have done even better had he a little more experience.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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I agree with Malene when she said:

"He kills for the horse because it is either giving up the horse,or dying in the desert.Balian chooses to try and live,for which he must fight."

And remember, he was provoked into the fight by the other man. It was either fight or die.....and the other man attacked him first.....he was only defending himself. Even Saladin agreed that it was a just kill. Life was much harder in those days, times could be cruel, and one had to be ready to defend oneself at all times.

Balian had weaknesses, succumbing to Sybilla was one of them, but Balian evidently also had a line of decency that he would not cross......i.e., kill Guy and his Templars. If the King and Tiberius wanted Guy dead, why didn't they arrange to do it themselves? Why ask Balian to do it? And you could say that another of Balian's weaknesses was violent temper, as in when he killed the priest after seeing his wife's cross around the priest's neck. But scenes that might have shown how provoked he had been in the past by the priest were cut out of the movie. So again, perhaps this too was justfied anger that ended in the killing.

I think that Balian was a grieving man who was struggling with the sins of his past and his wife's suicide.....a young man who wanted nothing more than to find forgiveness, thrust into knighthood and the turmoil in Jerusalem, and who was being pressured and tempted on all sides to cross that line he had drawn for himself. To his credit, but to the downfall of Jerusalem, he stuck by his principles, and in the end found a way to a better life.

As far as Serein's wish that Orlando had been older and more experienced when given the role of Balian.....we can't choose another man's timing. Ridley Scott was ready to go, wanted Orlando, and at this point in his career Orlando cannot say no to a role in a Ridley Scott epic !! Wanting him to have done the kind of performance that indeed he may be capable of in 4-5 years, is like back-seat driving !!

Enjoy what you have here and now....enjoy our youthful Orlando, the performances he is able to give at this time in his career. He is performing to the best of his ability, and we praise him for it. Those of us who have children know that when they perform in school plays, etc., they want to hear praise from their parents......not words like "well, you could have done this line better!!" We all know he is young yet, and new to this movie business. He is working with accomplished actors and directors and learning, as you say, from "the best". Let's congradulate him for how well he is doing now, and continue in the years ahead to enjoy him as he gets better and better !!
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Old June 11th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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Serein isn't suggesting that Orlando should not have taken the role. I think you might have misapprehended her posts.

There are a number of factors contributing to what we finally got on screen as it pertains to the character of Balian. Serein notes that the editing process by which many character development moments were cut was bound to affect how Balian comes across. We all noticed that scenes HAD to be missing. Orlando based his character's arc on what was in the script and in discussions with Scott. Just as Viggo mentioned during interviews about the theatrical cut of ROTK, the edits vastly affected his perceived performance and his actions were predicated on proceeding scenes which were subsequently cut. Same with Orlando.

Also, I don't think anyone on this board is saying Orlando didn't do a good job. He did. Orlando did as well as he could given his level of acting maturity at the moment. I think what Serein was musing about is that he could have been so much MORE commanding had he had a few more years under his belt. Orlando has mentioned he could have done better as well.

Getting back to Balian's actions, he is not the perfect man. Not by a long shot. But what Malene wrote is spot on. Balian tries to do right but he is only a man. Tiberias may have labeled Balian a 'perfect knight' but I don't get the feeling Balian buys into that at all. He takes to heart the knight's vow and strives to protect the people despite overwhelming odds. He cannot walk away as Tiberias did (which actually struck me as an abrogation of Tiberias' obligations as a knight and as the Marshall of Jerusalem, so what if the King is dead? He still had his vows), Balian does what any man of true conscience would do...defend the people though it may cost him his life.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 06:40 PM
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As for the discussion to weather orlando was ready to play Balian,I think he was.
But perhaps the timing would be better if KoH had come after the PoTC trilogy had been released.
I think then parts of the audience and critics that wasn't ready for him in a role like this now,would have been.Plus he would have had an ever bigger fanbase.

But I'm very content with what he did do in KoH,so that is just some speculating about what others might think.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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[QUOTE=Malene]He kills for the horse because it is either giving up the horse,or dying in the desert.[QUOTE]

I don't think Ridley Scott would have let the Arabs leave Balian in the desert (bad image for Arabs). Balian could have given up the horse and asked the Arabs to take him to Jerusalem. If he had identified himself then as the Baron of Ibelin they would have taken him.

Even IF they had left him, would it not be better to die himself than commit another killing? (Bad for the plot,however.)

Filmlover/Ellen
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Old June 11th, 2005, 08:07 PM
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Yes,but Balian had no way of knowing whether they would have let him live.
They were also two against one.He followed his instinct which was to fight.
IMO Scott makes both Balian and the arab look good in the scene, actually.
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