Monday, 8 March 2010

Stardust


My horn glitters today! I saw myself on TV last night – in “Stardust”, a refreshingly thoughtful fantasy film based on one of Neil Gaiman’s books.

The plot follows Tristan, who lives in a village called Wall next to a long stone wall that separates England from a fantasy kingdom where magic works. Tristan is descended from the royal family of the fantasy kingdom, though he doesn’t know it until he crosses the wall in search of a fallen star to bring back for the girl he loves.

This might sound familiar to fantasy lovers, except the fallen star turns out to be a beautiful young woman whose heart bestows the gift of eternal youth. Various witches and princes are after her for their own ends (youth and power), though Tristan finds her first and becomes hunted, too. As they flee across the fantasy land towards England, a tender love affair blossoms between the star and our hero, which nearly ends in tragedy when he realizes she will turn to dust if she crosses the wall. Fortunately, he recognizes in time that the girl who sent him on his quest was only trying to get him out of the way so she could marry someone else, and all turns out happily in the end.

My favourite bit:
Do you really have to ask? I have a small part rescuing the fallen star from the forest where Tristan has left her tethered to a tree by a magic chain (no trouble to a unicorn!)
My author’s favourite bit:
The ghosts of the seven princes, who keep murdering each other hoping to inherit the kingdom, until finally none is left. The ghosts hang around rolling their eyes at their remaining brothers' efforts.
And, of course, we both liked the kiss that makes the star shine at the end…

Neil Gaiman is an author who really knows how to write fantasy - I wonder if he has a unicorn for a muse? Anyone else see this film? Or maybe you’ve read the book?

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