Beowulf & Grendel Sturla Gunnarsson

Anyone with even a passing interest in poetry should recognise that the foundation of this movie is the epic poem Beowulf and not the comic book. Focusing on the human aspect of the story instead of the heroic deeds of Beowulf transforms the basic tale of vengeance and honour into a symphony of other subtler flavours that do well to mask the shortcomings of the story. Grendel dedicates his life to vengeance after witnessing the brutal slaying of his father at the hands of the Danes. Since Grendel and his father are trolls, the Danes see no wrong in hunting them down and killing them for sport. Upon the death of Grendel's father, while watching his slain form disappear over the edge of a cliff, one Dane finds the child Grendel and stays his hand from slaying him. That one act of mercy ultimately seals his doom, as the Dane king becomes the object of Grendel's revenge. Grendel grows in to adulthood with only one thing driving him to survive: vengeance upon those who took his father from him. When Beowulf, the much loved and heralded hero from Geatland arrives to help fight the wicked troll who haunts a village under the rule of the Dane king, he finds that there are trickery and deception in the description of the troll. He finds that this troll only targets those who harm him first, a piece of information that makes sense to him after one of his own falls to the troll. Trying to force the hand of the troll results only in humiliation for Beowulf and his band of fighting men, as Grendel has no quarrel with them, only the Dane king. When Beowulf learns of the reason for the troll's attacks upon the village, he confronts the king with this information. All sense of honour is lost when the king confesses to Beowulf what he has done, and Beowulf's respect for the troll deepens as he learns more about who Grendel is. (Equinox)