Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Emerald Green (4 Stars)

This is the third film in the Ruby Red trilogy, following "Ruby Red" in 2013 and "Sapphire Blue" in 2014. Over the course of the three films the meek schoolgirl Gwendolyn Shepherd has developed into an action heroine. In the film's climax she returns to 1786 to battle the evil Count of Saint Germain looking like a young Emma Peel in her black leather outfit. Or maybe not so young. The three films are supposed to take place shortly after one another, but the German make up artists didn't succeed in hiding the passage of time. In 2013 the actress Maria Ehrich was 20, but she had the appearance of a 16-year-old. Now that she's 23 she looks older than 16, at least 21. Nobody would ask for her ID when she goes to a club. Gwendolyn's best friend Leslie is also 16, but the actress Jennifer Lotsi has aged even faster. There is no way I can accept her as a schoolgirl, she looks at least 25. No insult intended. 25 is a good age.

This is the first film in the series in which temporal paradoxes are dealt with. Maybe I shouldn't say that they're dealt with, they're only mentioned in passing, and we're left to scratch our heads. The Count of Saint Germain lived in the 18th Century, but his plan to rule the world can't succeed until Gwendolyn, born in 1997, has reached her 16th birthday. Gwendolyn has to fight him to stop his plan succeeding, but he actually already succeeded 200 years ago when she travelled back in time to challenge him. He became immortal, and he's now living in disguise in the 21st Century to make sure Gwendolyn doesn't stop him. But of course, he wouldn't be around to stop her if he hadn't already succeeded.

People don't understand time. It's not what you think it is. It's complicated, very complicated. People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.

The film contains the most beautiful scenes of the trilogy. Gwendolyn's real parents, who gave her up for adoption, are hiding in the Scottish Highlands in the early 20th Century, so Gwendolyn travels back to 1920 to be trained in martial arts by her father. The scenes where they are fighting on the mountains are stunning. I'm sure it's intended as a homage to Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert in the first Highlander film.

This is the only film in the trilogy that I've managed to see in the cinema. The films weren't shown in England, and I only moved to Germany last month. "Emerald Green" was released in the cinemas on July 7th, but luckily the film has been so successful that it's still being shown after six weeks. I went to an early afternoon showing, 2:45pm, at the EM Cinema in Stuttgart's city centre. The theatre was small, only seven rows with 10 seats each, and it was almost full, about 50 people. Surprisingly, I was the only man in the audience. As far as I could see, before the lights went out, there were three middle-aged women, and all the rest were teenage girls. I admit that I felt intimidated. The two girls on either side of me added to my feelings. The girl on my right, probably in her late teens, was lucky enough to have an empty seat in front of her, so she had her feet up over the seat, showing off her beautiful legs, but making me feel trapped. The girl on my left, who couldn't have been a day over 14, had her hand on the shared arm rest, so I had to withdraw away from her. She was fidgeting with her legs throughout the film, bumping her leg against mine, so I was cringing as far in the right of my seat as I could without making it look like I was trying to touch the girl on my right. It was an awkward situation, but I somehow managed to concentrate on the film. I suppose it was my own fault for going to see a teenage fantasy film in Germany. Next time I'll go later in the evening.

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