Silver Screen Floparoonie!
This is the big weekend, dastardly villains, betrayal, romance…and the sky will fill with arrows. Cinematic arrows, to be sure. Possibly even virtual arrows. But arrows, nonetheless.
Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, you see, are about to take on Robin Hood.
Robin Hood is a legend, a mythos that has ensnared the imagination, a tale upon which we dote and wonder. The success, of course, stems from the characters.
Little John, a giant of a man with a giant of a love for his friend. In a manly sort of way, of course.
Will Scarlet, a name that resounds with potential.
Friar Tuck, a robust fellow who proves that though the church offers peace and love, it can swing a mighty sword with the best of them.
The sweet Maid Marian, whose name sounds like that of a nun, but who defies daddy to run with the bad boy.
And that brings us to the Rob himself.
He’s a bad boy, a hood from the day. He defies his false father, and yearns for his real father. He beats people up, and yet is the heart of kindness.
This is the secret, of course, opposites in character creating a tension that is real and gripping, in a fake kind of way, of course.
Then create situations based on bad guys, and the bad guys don’t have to be conflicted in character in any way, they just have to be bad. No tension here, except between immorality and the viewers own sense of moral outrage. Lie, cheat, steal, even kick the dog, the villain can let it all out.
That all said, time to check out the movies. First see if Errol Flynn and his band of Merry Men follow this formula, and how well. Then scan some other versions of Robin Hood, including Kevin Costner, and, if you have chance, inspect some of the TV offerings. Finally, put some extra butter on the popcorn and find out whether Ridley Scott, Russell Crow, and Cate Blanchet follow the formula.