MARCO POLO : A MOVIE REVIEW

Starring Ian Somerhalder, B.D. Wong, Brian Dennehy, Mark Jax, Kee Thuan Chye, Hallmark have produced the historical travels of Marco Polo with this movie.

        To make a wider interpretation of Marco Polo’s lsnd travels from Venice to China, the movie was presented in such a way that series of flashbacks or rewind to the past were done. The movie starts with Marco Polo being old and suffering from an ailment, which is a kind of sign that he is actually on his last stages of his life. He receives a priest who was strongly asking him to ask forgiveness for his sins which is a Christian tradition for all who were about to die. The priest, along with all others, believes that he was only making things up about his stories of his travels. Marco Polo defended himself by showing the priest a trunk containing several items or souvenirs he have collected from his travels. The old Marco Polo then starts to narrate his story by flashbacking to old times when he was still young but imprisoned after a battle between Venice and Genoa.         In the prison, he befriended a fellow prisoner named Rustichello da Pisa who was a writer. Pisa became very interested with Polo’s experiences about his travels that he even wrote them to record Polo’s life. From the prison, Polo narrated finally, how the whole travelling began by taking Pisa to his younger times when he was still about 19 years old. Again, the movie took the viewers to another timeline of Polo’s life.





         Polo’s father and uncle were merchants and what made him very interested in travelling the world was because of his father’s stories. With his uncle and father, they began to travel from Venice to China passing several countries. The movie illustrated his struggles like how his uncle was against with him writing memoirs to record their travels, the times when some of their fellow travellers doubted that they’ll reach China and eventually, left them and how Polo became very sick and stayed for some time in a village to be treated where he discovered other people’s way of mending sickness.

        The movie eliminates the beliefs of most people about Marco Polo. Polo’s travel didn’t involve more actions or adventure for he was more of an explorer who seeks to see the wonders of the earth. When he reached China, the “exploration intent” kind of became twisted for the movie seemed to focus Polo’s growing relationship with Khan as a loyal comrade which made him stay in China for a long time while his uncle and his father left for Venice. Although Polo still continued to write records, the movie more focused on the political aspect of China like the selection of wives, the rebellion of slaves and the ordinary people against an official. There was a little part about his love interest and his loyalty being tested by Khan.

        The movie as a whole is surely a decent one that attempts showing viewers the history of world, the cultures of people on the old times, trades and exploration. However, the movie was not that quite satisfying since it had a hanging ending which leaves the viewer wondering about what possibly would happen next.

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