film review

Review | The Count of Monte Cristo – 2002

Last Sunday I watched The Count of Monte Cristo for like the thousandth time! It’s the kind of film that never gets dull, I always enjoy watching it. Years ago, when I was 12 years old, I read the book written by Alexandre Dumas and I thought it was an amazing adventurous story. However, I can’t remember the book very well so I don’t know if this film is much like the book or if they changed some things. It’s indeed full of adventures, but it’s also full of revenge and jealousy. I think I do remember more sword fightings.

Count of Monte Cristo Caviezel and Pearce as Edmond Dantes and Fernand Mondego Count of Monte Cristo 16 years later

Set in the early 19th century, the friends Edmond Dantes (Jim Caviezel) and Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce), who are both sailors on a French trading ship, are in search for medical help for their captain. At the island ‘Elba’ they meet Napoleon Bonaparte and he asks Edmond for a favour. This favour, delivering a lettre, is the beginning of the misery for Edmond Dantes. He is accused of treason and gets a one way ticket to Chateau d’If, an island with only the most terrifying prison. While being stuck in this prison he meets a fellow captive, Abbé Faria, who learns him all kind of things and tells him his biggest secret: Where to find the biggest treasure of all. Althoug the role is small, I love Faria’s part, played by Richard Harris. It takes years for Edmond to escape, make a plan and actually avenge the people who falseleu accused him. His plan starts in the prison of Chateau d’If where the film also ends. What happens inbetween is for you to find out. The film has some amazing plot twists so for effect of surprise you definitely have to see the film for your self.

The cast is amazing! Jim Caviezel portrays both the young and quite naif Edmond as the older and vengeful version amazingly. Both versions are very credible. Guy Pearce also plays in a very credible way the rich and jealous ‘friend’. Jealous on the fact Edmond got promoted to become captain, jealous on his girlfriend Mercedes (Dagmara Dominczyk) and angry for keeping secrets. Years later he’s even worse: not interested in his wife or his son, addicted to gambling and almost bankrupt. Like I mentioned before, I really liked Richard Harris’ character, priest Abbé Faria. Abbé is another captive on Chateau d’If and teaches Edmond all kind of things: writing, reading, economics and fighting. This part the film also shows some light on the treason aspect and so Edmond sort of finds out what happened and who betrayed him with the help of the priest. I think this part of the film is fascination because this phase is the base which leads to the plan of revenge. I do really like his revenge plan, it’s very well prepared and conducted. It’s not that simple as just to kill those who has hurt him, but they really had to suffer.

Count of Monte Cristo Caviezel and Harris Count of monte cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo is a very enjoyable film with good acting and some interesting plot twists. Both Paris as Marseilles look great in their mid 1800 setting as does the costumes. The film is sometimes a bit dark which makes it unclear but anyway a film to recommend. But also: read the book! What I never knew before, Superman Henry Cavill  also has a role in one of my favourite films! He plays the 16-year-old Albert Mondego and looks extremely young!

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