- 2 hr 55 min
Alexander is a historical biographical war drama film released in 2004. The movie chronicles the life of Alexander the Great, a legendary king and conqueror from ancient Greece, who fought and conquered much of the known world during his reign. Directed by Oliver Stone, Alexander features a star-studded cast that includes Colin Farrell as Alexander, Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy, Rosario Dawson as Roxana, Angelina Jolie as Queen Olympia, and Val Kilmer as King Philip II.
The movie opens with Alexander's father, King Philip II of Macedon, imparting knowledge and training to his son. King Philip desires to conquer all of Greece and then use that power to defeat the might of the Persian Empire. Alexander becomes an exceptional warrior, and soon after his father's death, he takes over the kingdom of Macedon. With the help of his mother, Olympia, and his childhood friend, Hephaestion, Alexander sets out to conquer the known world.
Throughout the movie, we see Alexander's immense military and strategic prowess, as he leads his army through battles and victories, ultimately conquering the massive Persian Empire. The love story of Alexander and Roxana is also delicately portrayed in the movie, which adds an emotional and personal touch to the epic tale of a historical hero.
As Alexander continues his conquests, he finds himself struggling to maintain his army's morale and loyalty. His overwhelming ambition and thirst for power begin to cause dissent among his troops, and we also see the clear differences between Alexander and his father, King Philip, and their attitudes towards leadership, society and morality.
The movie also explores Alexander's philosophical and cultural interests, as he interacts with philosophers such as Aristotle and comes across different cultures and religions in his travels. This also builds upon the complexity of Alexander's character, depicting him as a man of ideas and not just a conqueror.
The film's narrative is told through flashbacks, as Alexander's trusted confidant, Ptolemy, records his friend's story for posterity. Hopkins delivers a balanced performance as Ptolemy, a former general who has fallen out of favor with Alexander and is determined to ensure that his friend's legacy is secure. Dawson is similarly impressive as Roxana, conveying her beauty and grace as well as her strength and resilience in a world ruled by men.
The movie's production design is impressive, with stunning landscapes and intricate details incorporated into the sets, from exotic palaces to battlefields. The cinematography is visually captivating, and the costumes and makeup are immaculate, transporting us into the period the movie portrays.
One of the criticisms of the movie is its length, as at over three hours, some viewers may find it challenging to maintain their attention throughout. Furthermore, the film has also come under fire for its historical accuracy, with some inaccuracies and embellishments being pointed out by historians.
At its core, Alexander is a tribute to a larger-than-life figure, an ambitious conqueror who was admired and feared in equal measure. It is a story of epic proportions, with engrossing performances, outstanding visuals, and an absorbing narrative. Despite its flaws, the film brings this legendary figure to life and reminds us of his lasting impact on history, making it worth watching.
Alexander is a 2004 war movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 55 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.6 and a MetaScore of 40.