Robert Zemeckis - Beowulf

Beowulf: An Epic Tale Brought to Life

Beowulf, a 3D motion-captured American epic tale, was directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is based on an epic song written in English around 700 AD. In The Polar Express, Zemeckis used the same motion capture technique. The movie was published on November 16, 2007, by Warner Bros. in the UK and Paramount Pictures in the US. The protagonist Beowulf, King Hrothgar, Grendel, the dragon, and Grendel's mother are among the major characters. Other characters include Wealhther, the wife of Hrothgar, Hrethric, the oldest son of Hrothgar, Shield Sheafon, Unferth, the second king in the line of Danish kings, and others. The major themes of Beowulf are identity, loyalty, generosity and hospitality, envy along with revenge (Mullen, 149). The movie has three scenes, in scene one, Beowulf awakes, scene two is when King Hrothgar requests Beowulf to defeat Grendel's mother, and in the last scene, Beowulf makes a deal with Grendel's mom.

Beowulf's Journey and Betrayal

The movie is set 507 with Beowulf, a Geatish warrior traveling to Denmark in the company of soldiers including Wiglaf, his best friend. King Hrothgar who is seeking for a hero to kill Grendel, welcomes them to his kingdom. Interestingly, Beowulf strips naked to attack Grendel whom he discovers has hypersensitive hearing that makes him disrupt celebration held by Hrothgar. The beast dies but not before he narrates to his mother what had happened to him. The mother swore revenge and slaughters some of Beowulf's men in their sleep (Mullen, 150). When Beowulf goes to kill Grendel's mom in the company of Wiglaf, she seduces him, and he falls into her traps, and the product of their affair is the dragon. Hrothgar crowns Beowulf as the king and then commits suicide.

Innovative Visuals and Engaging Soundtracks

Some of the unique features in the movie Beowulf include animations and visual effects such as the motion capture and the images of the characters which are three-dimensional. Besides, the filmmakers use lighting techniques and the wave running engine to create the ocean waves. Alan Silvestri composed and conducted the soundtracks in the movie with the help of Robin Wright Penn along with Idina Menzel who perform most of the songs.

Works Cited

Mullen, Darcy. "Beowulf and Aesthetic Nervousness: A Multidimensional Pedagogy." Lessons in Disability: Essays on Teaching with Young Adult Literature (2015): 149

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