The Agony and the Ecstasy
The film is an epic grandeur feature of a interpersonal tug-of-war between the maestro Michelangelo and Pope Julius II. I cannot help being shell-shocked to see the reconstruction of the magnificent ceiling though recognizably most of which is the trickery of montage (not in the real the Sistine Chapel, the location was inside Cinecitta Italy instead), but bathing under the glamour and solemnness of the visual wonders, I am stunned to exude my admiration and awe! The two leads conspicuously stimulate a Moses versus Caesar confrontation, Charlton Heston seems to be more boorish than artistic to manifest a struggled Michelangelo, may God doesn't distinguish his people by their looks. The "agony and ecstasy" is watered down to an underwhelming stalemate thanks to Charlton's outlandish incarnation as the most eminent artist of that time. Rex Harrison, is by far and large worthy another Oscar nomination for his arresting devotedness, which is apt to impress the audience with a mind-blowing bi-polar characterization while good and evil coexist at the same time. The film was a grave box office fiasco when it came out in 1965, however, judging by my appraisement, its merits still can be appreciated by our generation (a well-balanced script, the haunting original score and all the props and settings). However, the film entirely skipped Michelangelo's sexual orientation and awkwardly ploys a portentous conversation between Michelangelo and his admirer Contessina de'Medici (a over-wise Diane Cilento), which unveiled its cowardliness and helplessness. My final remark is that as time goes by ruthlessly, art stands still and never fades away, so lucky enough cinema is yet a part of it.
VIDEO - THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY - 1965 - 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058886/
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