Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Now, we can love him even more - Solo: A Star Wars Story - Film Review

Prequel film that shuns away the bad reputation of a prequel because it's good.
This "Star Wars Story" is much better than a couple of the films of the series and everybody who loved Han Solo can now love him even more.


Origins stories are always fascinating. Especially if it regards legendary, worldwide renowned, space cowboy badass Han Solo. Han Solo is one of the big stars of the Star Wars franchise. Perhaps, ‘the star’ since Han Solo is a charming, good-hearted, rough-edged ruffian that everybody in the galaxy loves and secretly wants to be. It’s no wonder why Han Solo and its actor, Harrison Ford, have achieved iconic status in the movie industry. 

Therefore prequel films, surrounded by overwhelming expectation and scrutiny from hardcore fans and critics alike, are murderous. Films of such high repute and prequels no less, are a make it or break it kind of deal. Prequels carry popular descendants – nobody in the movie industry wants to be labelled as the people involved in the film that messed what global audiences loved so much: like Star Wars: Episode I, II and III. 

Prequels are a tricky business. Even if prequels are well received and beloved, they’re almost forgettable because prequels are not the originals. Prequels are stories that will quench a fan’s curiosity, giving information that only a fan will seek. Originals by definition are something new and never before attempted, originals have the task of making an impression and make fans – that’s how originals survive. Meanwhile, a prequel’s main focus is not to muck up with the fans hearts that made the original popular. Thus, the makers behind ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ honestly had a difficult job ahead. The rewards too, don’t look that good either. Being released not long after Avengers Infinity War and Deadpool 2, Solo has serious competition for making its box office numbers high. 

This movie was difficult to make: over 3000 men have auditioned to star as the infamous, young Han Solo. Imagine, if the Han Solo we see on posters was a decision made out of thousands of possibles, every other detail in the film must’ve carried similar heavy burdens and responsibility. It is then no wonder why the Solo film has been in the works since 2012 and has been released in 2018. One must appreciate Lucasfilm’s meticulousness. 6 years of ongoing, relentless working indicates an enjoyable film in the least. I happily can say that Solo: A Star Wars Story is an enjoyable movie. There is action, romance, love, family, trickery, cunning – the film keeps you entranced. It’s a movie I know I won’t mind seeing in the future. Is it the most spectacular thing you’ll see ever or this year - No.  But this prequel didn’t muck up, so, a round of applause for that.

Alden Ehrenreich beautifully portrays a young Han Solo. Can he live up to Harrison Ford’s portrayal, sadly - no. In fairness, Harrison Ford has had 3 films (plus the old Han Solo performance in Star Wars Episode VII) to implement himself as the one and only face of Solo. Whether or not Alden Ehrenreich is a better Han Solo than Ford is more to do with a testament of time rather than talent. The movie (Star Wars Episode IV) that made this series happen was released 41years ago. Generations have associated Solo with Ford for 41years till now and old habits rarely change. Personally, I love both actors’ portrayals. As viewers, we must keep in mind that the actors are portraying Solo at different points of his life. Ford’s Solo is a 30ish tough, selfish straight shooter. Whereas, Ehrenreich’s Solo is a young, ambitious and very much in love man. Both actors deliver exactly what the age and circumstance demand.

Moreover, the rest of the cast, including the popular names of Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover and Paul Bettany, does not disappoint. You empathise for Clarke’s Qi’ra, are surprised yet not shocked by the actions of Harrelson’s Beckett and respect Glover’s Calrissian. The cast beautifully supports and compliments Ehrenreich’s Solo. The plot may not be unheard of or necessarily new. The big picture is a perhaps a little predictable yet the action sequences and the twists of the story that manages to stay unpredictable makes one not consider the blandness.

Famous director Ron Howard and now even more famous titular star Alden Ehrenreich (and of course, everybody involved) can take a breather from all the stress and doubt to marvel at their own handwork. In face of great pressure they accomplished to do what was most important – make a good film that is positively received. It saddens me to think that like its anthology film predecessor Rogue One, it’ll quickly fall away from the limelight but I really hope that while Solo is out now in cinemas it receives the attention and applause it deserves.

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