Capsule Review – 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

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1492: Conquest of Paradise, Ridley Scott’s lavishly mounted and fairly inspiring version of the Christopher Columbus legend may not be historically accurate but it is not as bad as many critics made it out to be and is better appreciated when you view it as just another well-told and engaging story. You’ll also find some underlying themes in it if you are willing to look for it. As expected of any Ridley Scott film, the film’s strength lies in the quality and power of its visuals, the grand production design and some adequately strong performances from Gerard Depardieu, Sigourney Weaver, Armand Assante, Michael Wincott and few others. (Yes, Depardieu speaks English in a French accent but that didn’t bother me much.) The violence is really intense – almost Game of Thrones level – and knowing Scott, he doesn’t shy away from staging some of the most unsettling killings ever put to film. The rousing score by Vangelis – working with Scott for the second time since 1982’s Blade Runner – is the other major highlight. I watched it for the second time today and I still maintain that it is one of Scott’s most underrated efforts.

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