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The Count of Monte Cristo
[ the count of monte cristo ]

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The Count of Monte Cristo - Click to view! THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (2002)
Starring James Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Dagmara Domincyzk.
Directed by Kevin Reynolds.
MPAA rating: PG-13

In the year 1845, Alexandre Dumas crafted a book, and he titled this work The Count of Monte Cristo. He wrote of a man, simple and trusting. A man who, when betrayed by a dear friend and sent to the worst kind of prison for 13 years, became consumed with vengeance and hate. This tale has had many film renditions, and today, one hundred and fifty seven years after the book was written, Touchstone Pictures has rendered another movie from this book. A poetic film, it takes the audience through the mind and emotions of a man betrayed, and what is required for him to move on.

It would be impossible to have a better cast for this film. The title character Edmond Dantes is played by Jim Caviezel (The Thin Red Line, Frequency). With perpetually mournful eyes and heartfelt acting, it's easy for the audience to connect with the shunned hero. This character is brilliantly contrasted by Guy Pierce in the role of Dantes' so-called 'friend'. A constant sneer backed up with unspeakably evil deeds make Fernand Mondego a villain that you love to hate.

Though forged in the almost anti-Christian Hollywood, The Count of Monte Cristo handles God in a surprising and touching way. From the harsh challenge of an abusive jailer during a beating: "You ask help from God, and I'll stop when he shows up," to a quieter scene with another inmate: "I don't believe in God," sobs Dantes. "Perhaps," whispers the elderly fellow, "But He believes in you." You see Edmond's belief in God evolve from simple belief, to raging hate and back again to the realization that God, in the end, will give justice.

Well written and brilliantly acted, the audience can't help but get involved with the story. Cheering over victories won and sobbing over cruelties inflicted, The Count of Monte Cristo is a film of rare caliber. Defining the differences between kings and pawns, emperors and fools, this movie is not to be missed.

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