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Master And Commander

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Has anyone else seen this film yet? It is essentially plotless, but in the same way that Calumet K was plotless. And, like K, it also depicts efficacious men engaged in rational activities (such as defending the freedom of one's country). What is inspiring about the film is that it depicts this eficaciousness with no comment. It is not presented as heroic. It is not presented as an exception. It is presented as normal and expected human behavior. As such, it was extremely refreshing.

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I enjoyed the film. The plot I thought was existent, but perhaps could have been more well defined. That sometimes happens when a movie is made from a book. There was a conflict between duty and personal will I thought. Lucky Jack was taking a personal initiative, exceeding his orders by hunting the Acheron. Matterin accuses him of this (he "smacks of pride"), but Matterin was also taking his own personal initiative when he explored the island. And in the end, both of their initiatives worked to generate their victory. Their duty is fullfilled, but not because they blindly followed it. So it presents a harmony between personal intiative and duty, with personal initiative as the more powerful force. And, their duty is justified rationally as the defense of their home. A harmony is also achieved between the conflicting interests of Matterin and Jack, symbolized in a poetic way when they play music together.

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I really liked this movie. It wasn't perfect, but it was much better than about 98% of the other movies that are released these days.

I basically agree with Meade's comments. While the plot was relatively simple, there definitely was one. Why do you say that it was essentially plotless, RadCap?

Just to add one particular detail of what I liked about the film to the more general statements that have already been made about why it's good (with which I agree), I was pleasantly surprised--shocked, really--at the part where Jack was forced to make a decision to let a member of his crew die rather than abandon his mission, and then a proper assessment of that decision is made! To hear it expressed in a Hollywood film, especially given today's political climate, that such a death is a casualty of war, the moral responsibility for which lies with the aggressor and not with Jack for leaving him, was really refreshing. I've always respected Peter Weir as a director, but wow. I doubt that many filmmakers today would allow such a stance to be expressed in their movies. I haven't read the novels that this movie was based on, but if that idea came from the books then I respect the author for that and would like to read them.

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