Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World ★★★★

Peter Weir can really do the thing ("the thing," in this case, being the directing of movies). Inherently I am not so interested in this pretty imperialist brand of naval adventure story, but the characters and filmmaking are too compelling to argue too much with. Centering the dramatic action around a friendship with ideological friction was the right call, it makes the whole thing more interesting! I also do love a film that manages to be this granular and procedural, without losing focus or disappearing into itself. The surgery scenes were the only aspect I remembered, and they still prove to be a horrifying highlight, but my favorite aspects now are the cello and violin jam sessions, and of course the tortoise-measuring scene.

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