Film Review: Aguirre, Wrath of God

Aguirre, Wrath of God

Werner Herzog’s 1972 historical journey gets a re-release. Aguirre, Wrath of God is a worthwhile watch for viewers that see it through.

In the 16th century, a few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru in search of the wealth of El Dorado. The ruthless Aguirre, who takes control of the expedition, is hellbent on reaching his destination at all costs…

Aguirre, Wrath of God is a slow burner. The first half of the film is quite difficult going, with the narrative taking some time to unfurl. There are some shots in the first half that are held for too long without any real gravitas. There is a lack of momentum that hinders the film.

Nevertheless, the second half of the film is a big improvement. Herzog offers an interesting portrayal of an unquenchable thirst for power with his title character. Aguirre, Wrath of God becomes more engaging in proportion with Aguirre’s growing delusion.

Themes of power and legacy are most potent in Herzog’s film. This is most apparent through Aguirre and his rapacious drive to reach El Dorado. However,  there are nuances in the film that also feed into these themes, such as Don Fernando de Guzman and his burgeoning corruption.

There are some great shots at the beginning and very end of Aguirre, Wrath of God. However, elsewhere production values can be a little haphazard, with blurry lenses and some abrupt editing. The humorous lines in the film are a welcome addition. There is also some great symbolism at the end of the film.

Klaus Kinski delivers a marvellous performance as Aguirre. Kinski is utterly believable in the role, which is highly praiseworthy given the extremes of the character. The supporting cast are also decent, but no one is able to take the limelight of Kinski.

Aguirre, Wrath of God requires viewers to persist with it, but is ultimately rewarding.

Aguirre, Wrath of God is being re-released as part of the BFI’s Werner Herzog season. It will be screened at the BFI Southbank and selected UK cinemas from 7th June 2013.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of movie stuffs this week, including the latest Man of Steel TV spot, Disney’s Big Hero 6, the Coen Brothers’ latest and a Herzog re-release…

Man of Steel

Here is the new Man of Steel TV spot. Although the film looks exciting, the TV spot fails to answer the question everyone is asking; is Gus Gorman in this latest Superman film? Really, that’s what we want to know. Man of Steel, with or without Gus Gorman, is released in UK cinemas on 14th June 2013.

Big Hero 6

Here is the first look at Disney Animation’s Big Hero 6. I want to live in San Fransokyo, it looks amazing! The film is about a robotics prodigy who finds himself in the grips of  criminal plot that threatens the city. Big Hero 6 is due for release in the US on 7th November 2014.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Ethan and Joel Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis is about a young folk singer in 1960s New York. The film stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake. But who knows, the breakout star may be the cat in the first seen in this trailer. Inside Llewyn Davis is due for release in UK cinemas on 24th January 2014.

The World’s End

Edgar Wright’s latest offering is The World’s End, starring past collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The film seems like exactly what one would expect from the trio; comedy and some very strange shenanigans. The World’s End hits UK screens on 19th July 2013.

The Internship

The Internship reunites Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. The comedy is about two advertising salesmen who start an internship at Google. The trailer reminds me of that episode of Friends where Chandler starts an internship at an ad agency and he’s so much older than the rest of the interns. The Internship is out in UK cinemas on 4th July 2013.

About Time

Here is the first trailer for Richard Curtis’ latest film, About Time. The comedy stars Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams and Domhall Gleeson. I’m getting Groundhog Day vibes from the trailer, although I think the film is going to weigh heavy on the whole consequences theme. About Time is released in UK cinemas on 6th September 2013.

Aguirre, Wrath of God

I wish Werner Herzog was narrating this trailer. Werner Herzog should narrate everything. Anyway, the director’s 1972 film Aguirre, Wrath of God gets a re-release as part of the BFI’s retrospective of Herzog in June. Aguirre, Wrath of God will be screened at the BFI and selected UK venues from 7th June 2013.