Title – Day of the Falcon (2011)
Director – Jean-Jacques Annaud (Enemy at the Gates)
Cast – Tahar Rahim, Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed
Plot – When oil is discovered by the West in the “Yellow Belt” of Arabia a war threatens to break out between rival tribal leaders Emir Nesib (Banderas) and Sultan Amar (Strong). Standing in between these man is Prince Auda (Rahim) a son to both who could play a major role in determining who wins the war of the oil.
“God hates the things we do in His name”
Review by Eddie on 12/08/2014
Jean-Jacques Annuad’s wannabe epic The Day of the Falcon (also known as Black Gold) feature’s some of the most bizarre and downright idiotic casting choices ever committed to celluloid and due to this ruins any chance the movie had at being a sweeping tale of love, family and war in the barren lands of early nineteenth century Arabia.
The Day of the Falcon is a suitably large scale looking film with a huge budget handed to it by its Saudi Arabian backers but money must have been thrown in the majority at its world spanning cast who look like lost souls in a movie that would’ve been much more suited casting locals as to not distract from what is essentially a ripe storyline. A Prophet breakout star Tahar Rahim fairs best in the cast but from him it’s all horribly downhill. We have a Spaniard (Banderas), a cockney Englishman (Strong) and a clearly Indian (Pinto) filling out the cast of natives. No amount of makeup or costume design can hide the fact that these people are in no way shape or form from this country which really is insulting to both the story and the audiences. These casting mistakes are made all the more hard to swallow when Annaud’s film showcases select scenes that make one think they are watching a better movie.
Annuad has shown promise behind the camera before with Enemy at the Gates one of the more enjoyable guilty pleasures of the last decade or so and here again proves to have a good eye for the large scale detail, but within the film those scenes are few and far between with a seemingly intense finale playing out far too quickly and characters never truly making a mark on the audience. The film certainly looks pretty in a sandy type of way and the period of history in which the film takes place makes it a more intriguing prospect than it deserves to be but that’s in no way a selling point.
Day of the Falcon was an almighty flop the world over and a film that has rightfully been passed over by many film lover. It’s good to see up and coming actor Tahir Rahim take lead in a picture of this scale and he is a shining light in an otherwise pointless movie that proves to those in the business that casting name actors at the expense of believability is a big mistake.
1 and a half miscast foreign actors out of 5