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The Count of Monte Cristo This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, "TheCount of Monte Cristo" is anything and everything a true movie fan could askfor. A creative story, edge-of-your-seat action, and pure film magic - all theelements of a great film are here.

Taking place when Napoleon was exiledon the island of Elba, Edmund Dantes (Jim Caviezel) is the protagonist. He is asimple French sailor looking forward to marrying the beautiful maiden, Mercedes(Dagmara Domincyzk). But after an incident with Napoleon and a betrayal by hisbackstabbing best friend, Mondego (silver-screen veteran Guy Pearce), Dantes'world spirals into chaos.

Not wanting to give away too much (skip the nextcouple of paragraphs if you plan on seeing this soon), Mondego uses hisaristocratic connections to imprison Dantes. After more than a decade ofconfinement with time to reflect on his anger, Dantes escapes and retrieves a mapto a legendary treasure.

Shortly after escaping, he prepares to sail theseven seas as a smuggler. Along the way, he recruits a classic goofy sidekick forhis mission of vengeance and justice. The treasure is found; the man known asDantes figuratively died in prison consumed by rage, and the transformation ofmind, body, and soul to the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo begins...

How will the Count gain revenge after discovering Mondego has takenover his shipping business and stolen his lovely fiancée in his absence?And how far will the protagonist go with his diabolical scheming to gaincatharsis?

Director Kevin Reynolds is obviously a fan of good literature,and successfully adapted this piece. The comic relief by impressive characterslike Faria (Richard Harris, Dantes' cellmate), and Jacobo (Luis Guzman), hissidekick, would be unnecessary in this otherwise serious and intensefilm.

What drew my attention most was the atmosphere of the setting. Fromthe romance of French social gatherings to the orchestra accompanying themano-a-mano duels, every detail in this panoramic landscape is accuratelydepicted.

Perhaps the greatest marvel of all, this epic is portrayed injust over two hours. The masterpiece is more than just a swashbuckling good time.As its advertisement slogan says, "Prepare for adventure. Count onrevenge."

While the film received mixed reviews, I think that out offive stars, "The Count of Monte Cristo" really deserves six but willhave to settle for a perfect score. You will be doing yourself an enormous favorby seeing this movie, and a great disservice by missing it. I plan on getting theDVD when it is released.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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