Date:27/05/2005 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/fr/2005/05/27/stories/2005052701080200.htm
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Where has all the fun gone?



STAR WARS: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars Episode 3:
Genre: Sci-fi drama
The cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Samuel L Jackson, Ian McDiarmid, Christopher Lee and Frank Oz (voice of Yoda)
The director: George Lucas
The storyline: How Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader.
The bottomline: Watch you must, expect you must not.

This happens to be the darkest of the lot. If you consider that young fans of the originals have aged since the first Star Wars film released in 1977, the present crop of young fans is anyway used to finding violence and killing in films, `Revenge of the Sith' is very grown-up. There aren't too many funny lines or feel good moments. But that again is understandable considering that George Lucas just wanted this episode to show how a good man becomes bad. How the irresistibly cute child from `Episode 1: The Phantom Menace' Anakin Skywalker becomes the black-metal masked evil Darth Vader, the villain in the original series. Given that the function of the middle of any story is to put the central characters into a crisis and push them to the lowest point of their graph, there was very little scope for comic interludes. Hence the beeping droid R2D2 is just at its efficient best, the gold-plated C3PO does not get too much screen time, the usually eccentric Yoda, we see in the originals, is all serious and the goofy Jar Jar Binks, introduced in Episode 1 to bring comic relief, is done away with.

Drama dominates `Revenge of the Sith' as Lucas fleshes out the politics that sets the stage for the transformation of Anakin (Hayden Christensen), who now finds his loyalties split between the Jedi Council and the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). After having set up Anakin's ability to foresee death and established his fear of losing people he loves, the master story-teller skilfully ties it all up, with Anakin now getting a premonition of Padme's (Natalie Portman) death.

Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu has just about managed a slightly bigger role this time and Ewan McGregor gets the meaty chunk of the saberlight fights.

It is to the director's credit that the mind-blowing visual effects (the saberlight fight in the climax between Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin/Darth Vader is the highlight of the film and the battle scenes are out of this world), in spite of being the best in the series, in no way distract you from the story you already know. As Yoda would say about `Revenge of the Sith': "Expect too much, you must not. Enjoy, you will then."

SUDHISH KAMATH

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