18 August 2005

Reflections on The Alamo (2004)

Last night, I watched the 2004 film the Alamo on DVD. Its an entertaining film. The actors in the main roles are all good (I especially liked Billy Bob Thornton's portrayal of Davy Crockett). In the fighting scenes, everyone dies an unrealistically clean death (no people wandering around the battlefield with missing fingers or the side of their face shot off) but the film does do a good job of showing realistic reactions to killing up close.

The historical perspective, on the other hand, was something I found outlandish. My guess is that if you gave a hundred Americans a history quiz, 75% would respond that the Alamo was an unprovoked Mexican attack on an American town. The Mexican government had in fact offered citizenship to anyone willing to immigrate to the excessively unpopulated Mexican territory and the uprising was therefore a rebellion, pure and simple. In the film, the Americans all appear as inspired by high and noble ideals whereas the Mexicans come across as devoid of human ideals or feelings. Yet the reviews often criticize this film precisely because it went too far in painting the Mexican rebels (oops, I mean, true-blood Americans fighting for freedom) with realist strokes.

Other comments on the film can be found at: The Alamo site, a negative review of the movie, and other film reviews.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure, of course it is like this. What did you expect form Hollywood? I was upset with Troy...

Tran Sient said...

'the Mexicans come across as devoid of human ideals or feelings.'

Well, that describes Santa Anna pretty well actually. He determined that Mexico was not ready for democracy and declared himself dictator. Would you expect that the Texans should have lived under such a regime? He was also exiled from Mexico. The Americans let him go when they could have executed him.

Karlo said...

It may describe Santa Anna. I'd expect the average Mexican foot-soldier to be inspired by something else.

Gleyes said...

My guess is that if you gave one hundred Americans a history quiz about the Alamo (or any other subject..) they would respond, "HUH?"....

Karlo said...

tis so true