Saturday, May 07, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven

A new world. A better world than has ever been seen. There you are not what you are born but what you have it in yourself to be. A kingdom of conscience, peace instead of war, love instead of hate. That is what lies at the end of Crusade. - Godfrey of Ibelin

Image Hosted by Being a Ridley Scott movie, I knew it will be a movie chockful of violence, blood and gore. Nevertheless, I was still not prepared for the bloodshed that greeted me.

The Kingdom of Heaven is a story of a 12th century blacksmith who found himself the son of a baron and then defending the walls of Jerusalem the next. Though the idea may seem common (hey, watch Filipino movies. The unbelievable always happen), it's still amazing to watch Balian, the blacksmith, superbly played by Orlando Bloom, grow from just being a blacksmith into a knight.

All of the characters in the story, except for Godfrey (Balian's Father, characterized by Liam Neeson), existed in real life. The writer took the liberty of fixing the timeline a bit to accommodate the King Baldwin (he died a year before the start of the story).

Image Hosted by I really love this movie. Though I left the moviehouse with a headache, I am still at awe. Not only of Sir Ridley Scott's genius, but the history where this movie is based. Almost the whole movie and the great battle scene is set in Jerusalem. It's amazing that after a thousand years, the same conflict still exists in that place. Balian used to stand on Jerusalem's stones. Saladin, the Muslim King, once stood outside the walls of Jerusalem. Muslim, Jewish and Christian blood was shed on that land.

Though the Crusades were once touted as the greatest moment of the Christian religion, I felt ashamed for the actions of the forefathers of my faith. That's why I could not help but cry when Pope John Paul II came to the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem and asked for forgiveness for the past sins of the church. No one should go to war because of their faith. No one should condemn a person for having different beliefs.

Jesus taught us to love one another as much as He loves us. It means accepting and loving people regardless of their beliefs, of their race, and of their religion. My faith is not perfect, and I don't believe that there is a perfect religion--my dad told me that. But I believe in Jesus. I believe in God who created Heaven and Earth. I believe in this church and acknowledge the imperfections, and that is where the beauty of it lies. That is why I still stay, and why I still believe.

And now that I'm finished sharing my thoughts of the story, it's time to activate my fan girl face.


Image Hosted by I have been a avid and drooling fan of Orlando Bloom ever since the Lord of the Ring days. I remembered surfing for his pictures over the net and any bit of information that I can find of him. I swooned over his magazine covers and shrieked with joy when they gave him additional scenes in the last two movies of the Rings trilogy. I watched all of his movies, but none of them has made turned me into a fervent devotee like this movie did. Maybe because this is his first starring role. All his past movies (Pirates of the Carribean, Troy) had him on a supporting role. In this movie, he managed to carry his character, the story and the movie and he did a really splendid job.

The battle scenes were reminisce of some instances in Lord of the Rings. Like when the Muslim army was going to attack Jerusalem. They looked like the Sauron's horde attacking Gondor. And when Orlando rode a horse to meet the army. Gosh. I wanted to cry!

After leaving the theater, I vowed that I will get the DVD and watch it again. Of course, I'll fast-forward the battle scenes. They're still so gory and I could not bear to watch it. I had to bury my face on Leo's shoulder.

I love this movie, not only because of Orlando Bloom, but the way it helped me appreciate my faith. Though what religion you belong to, we are all God's Children.

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