review of the prehistory of Rome on Amazon Prime

big myth

The life of Romulus and Remus, the first kings of Rome in 750 BC. J.-C., more like legends than historical facts. So, the series of Matteo Rovere had free rein to write his own version of the story and wonder at a bold interpretation. The myth originally gave pride of place to the gods, Romulus and Remus were sons of Mars, the god of war. gold, Romulus here makes the interesting choice to never represent the gods, unlike the Netflix series Troy: fall of a city which places Olympus at the heart of human relations.

This bias allowing the story to retain a semblance of realism, while suggesting the presence of Roman gods in people’s decisions. Like the characters, we believe in the signs that surround them that we interpret, torn between reason and beliefs. The desire to remain in a certain reality during this time is also described in the choice to shoot the entire series in Old Latin giving a unique voice to the dialogue.

Attack of the Titans

Thus, Romulus circling around the imaginary without ever diving into it. Mythological elements are not visible on screen, this magical aura exists in the minds and hearts of men and women. This aspect goes through the scenes that take place mainly in a forest which is filmed as a mysterious place with foggy backgrounds and its atmosphere is reminiscent of Excalibur from 1981. There is a relationship with nature similar to John Boorman’s film because Nature is the place of the supernatural and cuts people off from the godswhile building a city brings them closer together.

However, the problem with this rewriting of the legend, as related to its ideas, is thathe rejected his most famous symbol: the wolf nursing babies. Besides Jesus Christ, there are few historical figures whose depiction as a child is a popular image. However, Romulus it is ignored, making its heroes young adults betrayed by an uncle who stole the throne from them. A story like Hamlet that brings back a procession of characters whose archetypes are somewhat worn out. The latter was fortunately saved by the actors and actresses who lived their roles, especially Francesco Di Napoli, the interpreter of one of the two brothers.

Romulus: ImageThe excellent Francesco Di Napoli

history of violence

Nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is one of the cradles of Western civilization and Romulus made the wise choice to be the story of the transition between a people divided into packs that kill each other, to the beginning of a united people who build a city in the heart of the world. Thus all faces, men and women, covered with scars and scars that describe lives led as battles.

The first episodes are shown young people in a rite of passage like a survival course. There, they almost became animals again before becoming a group of men who became civilized. Structures that can be compared to the ancient villages, but the future bases of the Roman Empire. Thoughtful and compelling narrative ideas which can be seen all the time.

Romulus: ImageFrom the Barbarians to the Romans

This brutality is very evident in the interactions between the characters where the answer through blood is the solution to all exchanges. Threats to commit suicide, mutilation, sacrifice, beating, discussions quickly leave a barbaric atmosphere. It’s a pity that the weaknesses of the writing make some of the reactions, especially the kills, sometimes strange. The protagonists usually seem to leave in a quarter turn before plunging a dagger between their partner’s ribs. It provides unlikely scenes where getting through a day without hurting a psychopath’s feelings seems like a miracle.

The game of Matteo Rovere also contains this violence and adapts to the energy of the characters, such as an angry hero that a handheld camera will follow as he rages. The brutality of the men is further emphasized by close-ups of blood and red drops hanging from bodies like this the tribute paid for Rome, and by extension modern civilization, existed.

Romulus: photo, Marianna Fontana, RomulusThe shedding of blood, is a daily task

All facilities lead to Rome

Despite the good intentions of trying to transcribe the betrayals and deceptions of the time, Romulus greatly shortened its history – which can be summed up in a few days, or even weeks if we look broadly. It has nothing to do with the dark and chaotic adventures of Romulus and Remus spanning a lifetime that one might expect. In the series, everything is easy and there is no time to create ambiguous relationships believability between characters. So, Rome may not have been built in a day, but it clearly didn’t take more than a massive week of work.

And even if the decorations are beautifulwith green and wild scenes, or interiors decorated as lit by torches, they are severely undersized. The series takes place in a valley where thirty lords rule, but we don’t feel their presence. The main village has three houses fighting a duel, when the second is made of four terracotta huts. and incredibly generic music to the tunes of hans zimmerian conditioning finishes giving an epic impression of three sesterces.

Romulus: photo, Emilio De Marchi, RomulusRobinson Crusoe

Although many shots hit the retina, which knows how to play the rays of light filtered by the branches or the orange reflections of the flame on the faces, it usually serves as a mask. So consciousness favors style, made the most of what was in the movie, rather than a total concoction. In effect, the calibration never shows the same colorimetry. Some landscapes are full of greens, if not black and white, while others are so yellow that it feels like Mexico in Bad offense.

Matteo Rovere’s ambition probably exceeded what he could do, which is not a mistake except for his relaxation of the project. or this version of Rome’s genesis fails to be a gripping and epic talehowever we felt the sincerity behind it Romulus. These many topics around a new modern humanity are more attractive than the story of the seizure of power by the founding fathers of the world-city.

Romulus is available in full (or almost, lol) on Amazon Prime starting August 26, 2022

Romulus: Official Poster

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