The Four Feathers

Dan Goldwasser Movie Reviews

I went to go see The Four Feathers with Tony tonight. We grabbed a little food at the Gumbo Pot at the Farmer’s Market before the film, and then settled in for the 2-hour long “epic”. The film, based on the classic novel of the same name by A. E. W. Mason, is the seventh film adaptation of that story. In a nutshell, the story is: Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger) resigns his commission in the British Army when he hears they’re being sent off to the Sudan, and is sent four white feathers of cowardice by his friends. He decides to return the feathers to them, and so travels to the Sudan in the middle of the British campaign. I won’t get into the details, but it was a really solid film, based on obviously quality material.

Director Shekhar Kapur does a fine job with the story, and the pacing flows rather smoothly. The acting is quite good too, and Kate Hudson does a nice job, but it’s really Wes Bentley who surprised me. If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn he was just a stiff-lipped British actor. He really plays the part exceptionally well. Also doing a fine job is Djimon Hounsou, who has a rather significant role in this film. The cinematography is beautiful – with some gorgeous desert shots that I’ve not seen since Lawrence of Arabia. James Horner’s sweeping score is perfect, and fits the emotional moments in the film like a tight-fitting Star Trek uniform. While I’m not too keen on the vocals by Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the CD album (I could have sworn he was a woman….), they work wonderfully in the film, and the juxtaposition of the East African music over the opening title rugby game was rather inspired.

All in all, this is a film worth checking out. I have other personal thoughts on it, but won’t get into them here. (If you really wanna know, just ask me.)