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THE FOUR FEATHERS


A soldier of the British Empire who's been branded a coward by his fiancee and his fellow officers gets a chance to prove himself a hero in the Arabian desert.


CAST: Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Kate Hudson, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Sheen, Alek Wek, Kris Marshall, Rupert Penry-Jones

DIRECTOR: Shekhar Kapur

 

"'Feathers' so grandly plays out the imperialist fraternity of the British Army that it's as if Mr. Kapur were making a commercial for a way of life that no one misses...The picture's wheezing fussiness and devotion to the British empire and its minor nods to questioning unthinking loyalty to an ideal make 'The Four Feathers' a possible first of a kind: a movie that's halfhearted about ambivalence." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"I do not require Kapur to be a revisionist anti-imperialist; it's just that I don't expect a director born in India to be quite so fond of the British Empire...It looks good, it moves quickly and it is often a jolly good time. As mindless swashbuckling in a well-designed production, it can't be faulted. The less you know about the British Empire and human nature, the more you will like it." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"The story gives ample opportunity for large-scale action and suspense, which director Shekhar Kapur supplies with tremendous skill. It also raises larger issues, related to colonialism and the morality of war, that Kapur treats with less enthusiasm...Kapur handles the film's spectacular elements with sure-handed expertise. The colors are resplendent, the settings and costumes ring with authenticity, and every hoof-beat of every horse is flawlessly filmed and edited. As an exercise in sheer craft, 'The Four Feathers' is the movie to beat this season." -- David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor

"The new 'Four Feathers' is as intent on showing British savagery and stupidity as in depicting traditional heroism. The film even departs from previous versions by giving Harry a Tonto-like sidekick, Abou Fatma ('Amistad's; Djimon Hounsou), without whose help he could never have survived...Whether this is progress or not is unclear, but it is different...Empire may not have been as glorious as the Victorians imagine, but does it have to be this taxing?" --
Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times


"As the West now stands on the brink of a major war in the Middle East, there's a positively eerie timeliness to Shekhar Kapur's splendidly spectacular, intelligent and very well-acted new version of 'The Four Feathers,' that century-old classic of sacrifice, bravery and loyalty in the Arabian desert...At its best, 'The Four Feathers' recalls the consummate craftsmanship and irony-free storytelling of Hollywood's Golden Age." -- Lou Lumenick, The New York Post