STARDUST: SILLY BUT FUN
The concept of Stardust is an original one. Boy promises girl that he will bring her a fallen star in exchange for her love. Unfortunately, clichés and stereotypes detract from the film. Robert De Niro as a pirate captain is over the top. But Michelle Pfeiffer as an evil youth hungry witch shows that she still has got the goods.
Tristan (Charlie Cox) is in love with Victoria (Sienna Miller). She promises him she won’t marry Humphrey (Henry Cavill) if Tristan can bring her the falling star that they both witnessed. Little does Tristan know that this falling star is Yvaine (Claire Danes). Once Tristan captures Yvaine, they begin an adventure. Unbeknownst to them, they are being chased by three sisters that are witches. They are headed up by Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer). Yvaine’s heart will preserve their youth. They are also being tracked by three brothers who wish to become the head of their kingdom. Before the king’s death, the king threw the stone that will turn red for whoever is to become king. It landed on Yvaine when she fell from the sky. All this and Yvaine and Charlie find a friend in closet cross dresser pirate Captain Shakespeare (Robert De Niro).
The story does show promise. Stereotypes such as Captain Shakespeare bumped it off track. The witches’ quest for youth preservation is clichéd. Plotlines are a mishmash. More background on Charlie and his father would have helped. The acting is mediocre at best, save for Michelle Pfeiffer as wicked Lamia. Claire Danes as Yvaine can’t decide if she has an accent or not. Robert De Niro is a stupendous actor, but his Captain Shakespeare is silly. Hard to see past De Niro the actor playing a flamboyant cross dresser. There is no doubt this is a fantasy. We are provided with unicorns, ghosts, falling stars turning into humans, castles housing kings and witches, and flying pirate ships. It is fun to watch.
Originality was left at the door once the concept of the story was created. Less clichés and stereotypes would have made this a better film.
Talented cast doesn’t save this film from its staleness. There is nothing new but fun aspects that make it somewhat enjoyable. Pfeiffer as Lamia is one of them. But De Niro as Captain Shakespeare is not one of them.