Saturday, 23 December 2017

Sapphire Blue (4 Stars)

This is the second film in the Ruby Red trilogy. At the end of the first film Gwendolyn was unsure whether or not to trust the Lodge and its leader Count Saint-Germain. Her doubts are cleared up in the opening scenes. Gideon takes Gwendolyn on a date to the Black Swan tavern in 1602 to hear William Shakespeare recite a poem. She witnesses the Count murdering his own grandfather, presumably after his father had already been born.

This makes Gwendolyn curious why her cousin Lucy and her husband Paul have stolen the Lodge's chronograph. First she travels back to 1951 to ask her grandfather for advice. This is before the chronograph was stolen. He promises to help her, but he says he won't tell her straight away; he'll leave a message for her to find after his death.

In the meantime Gwendolyn continues to misbehave. She goes to an evening party, a soirée, in 1763. At first she does her best to blend in, but eventually she gets bored and puts on a performance of the Time Warp. The aristocratic ladies and gentleman have never seen anything like it. Within minutes they're swinging their hips and imitating her dance moves.

In this film Gwendolyn finds a new ally, Xemerius, a water-spitting demon. Nobody except for Gwendolyn can see him, but he can still make people wet. Xemerius isn't a time traveller, he's stuck in the present, but he's lived in London for hundreds of years, spending most of his time watching rich people, so he can tell Gwendolyn what he's seen. After all, the Lodge members are some of the richest men in England, so he knows all about them.

In the first film Gwendolyn's best friend Leslie, played by the 18-year-old actress Jennifer Lotsi, could easily pass for a 16-year-old. "Sapphire Blue" was made only one year later, but she's aged fast. She looks like she's 20, at least. The make-up artists should have worked harder on changing her appearance.

This is a more complex film than "Ruby Red". There are more time jumps in this film, and more paradoxes, where Gwendolyn and Gideon experience events in reverse chronological order. For instance, Gideon demands an explanation from Gwendolyn for something she hasn't done yet. In another scene Gwendolyn asks her grandfather to decipher a book he's written in code, but it's before he wrote it and he doesn't understand the code. Time travel ain't easy!

This is a good film, but I suspect that the novel on which it's based is even better. I'm tempted to buy the book trilogy.

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