Eragon is the American adventure-fantasy movie, based on novel by the same name made by Cristopher Paolini. Stefen Fangmeier directed this film. The premiere was on 14th of December 2006. This film was the worst reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes of 2006.
The director of this film tries to send a message to his viewer that even high budget and a well-written source cannot help bad director in film screening. Stefen Fangmeier just smashed the expectations of the books’ audience into the wall, by making this pale and weak film with many inaccuracies and mistakes.
The original story, book “Eragon”, in contrast to film, is still well written and interesting. Description of this book is similar to hundreds of “high-fantasy” books; the story is derivative since its author, Christopher Paolini was a 15 years old child. Since, this book is for children, who meet the “high-fantasy” genre for the first time.
Plot of this film is about the dragon egg, with which Arya runs for her life from evil dragon-rider-king Galbatorix. During the escape the ring of flame, made by Shade Durza (dark sorcerer), surrounds her, and in purpose to protect this stone she teleports it to a distant forest, where lives and hunts a seventeen-years old boy Eragon, from the town of Carvahall of the Alagaesia country, which is populated with elves, dwarves and other magical races.
Therefore, this young farmer’s son finds this strange blue stone, from which later dragon baby is born. According to prophecy, this boy should be the last dragon rider, who should save the Alagaesia country from the evil king Galbatorix. “Eragon” is the first part of planned tetralogy. Cristopher Paolini wrote the original book when he was 15; it was a try to compete with Harry Potter on his territory.
People all over the world leaned on this film their high expectations because of the bestseller book; the expectations were not justified by public because of the very differences between the film and movie. The poorly made film, with high cost but low rate, smashed high expectations of its audience.
This film is the silent nightmare of every person who read the first book of the Eragon’s tetralogy; from the first lines, it says that one of the greatest dragon-riders killed all other dragon-riders in one fight. Is he a dragon-rider Rambo or something like that?
In original story, Galbatorix was a powerful dragon-rider, who lost his dragon and close friends during the cruel fight. Galbatorix almost lost his mind because of gore; he wandered for a long time in wastelands, challenging the most dreadful monsters, who soon started fleeing away by Galbatorix’ appearance.
Galbatorix got obsessional idea that Shur’tugals (Dragon Riders) should give him a new dragon, so he started his way to south. The route was too long; he starved a lot and almost died, if only farmer did not save him from death.
Galbatorix got his healing in Illyria, where dragon-riders took him. He demanded on getting a new dragon from the Doyens of Dragon Rider Insignia; but they rejected this demand because of the Galbatorix’ dragon death fault. Galbatorix conceived a hatred for dragon riders and decided to destroy the Insignia. He won one from the Dragon Riders for his side and together they killed the Elder rider; after this, Galbatorix killed his ally for unknown reason and subsequently escaped to wild lands.
After this, he made his crimson path to his authority: the fate throw together Galbatorix and Morzan – powerful but not smart dragon-rider. Morzan became his ally, and thanks to him, Galbatorix was successful in stealing a newborn dragon from Illyria (Morzan killed the dragon-rider, which was chosen by this dragon). After this, both of them ran to the savage lands again to regain their might. When the Shruikan, the second dragon of Galbatorix grew old, and Morzan learned dark magic, they showed themselves to the world again. “The fall of dragon riders” is the period, which began from 7896.
Galbatorix and Morgan together defeated many of Dragon Riders, and with every murder, their powers were growing only. Twelve of dragon-riders joined Galbatorix and Morzan on their own. Name of this squad was The Forsworn (Wyrdfell) – squad of the thirteen corrupt Dragon Riders. This squad was very powerful; they were able to defeat elves and dwarves so Galbatorix could displace king Angrenost of Brodding.
The culmination of this war was the death of Vrael, Riders head. During the Doru Aribe battle, he defeated Galbatorix but did not made his final blow. The payment for this act was on the quiet hit, which lead to his escape to the Utgard Mountain in sake of regaining his powers. However, it did not help – Galbatorix tracked the Dragon Rider’s head and killed him in humiliating way – Galbatorix kicked him “in the fork of his legs” (Paolini) and after – beheaded the elder Rider. After this, Galbatorix proclaimed himself ruler of Alagaesia.
Moreover, what do we understand from the film? Nothing, but a “Rambo-Rider” kills all other Riders without reason at all, only in the sake of authority. Its absolute nonsense, and non-logical for almost every person, especially for those who read the book. As for me, this “boo-boo” is the biggest mistake of the film, but there are still lots of mistakes, which draws attention.
Story telling does say nothing about the dragons, who have their essential and privileged place of the myth and fantasy world. In this film about the mighty dragons, there is no information about them at all, all the information given: dragons are just big and strong, nothing more.
The actors are not that bad, but their roles are too perfunctory, absolutely devoid of life, realism, and trifles of daily routine, which can do characters bright and unforgettable.
The attempt of stage director and scenario writer to make an experienced fencer and mage from a peasant boy in several days is hilarious. Moreover, what can we say about the final fight between Durza and Eragon? Some metal plates sewed on leather jacket in the form of fish scales, fit maybe for dancing party, but not for the fight.
There are also scenes, where some heroes could not be geographically. As an example: the leap of Brom, who caught the spear, destined for Eragon, during the fight in fortress. How could he do it, while he should be far away in woods (according to the book), from where he had to do a three-day’s journey using changeable horses?
Yes, the special effects are good: the realization of dragon flights and fights are beautiful, but it cannot compensate poor and naive narrative. The transformation of baby-dragon into the mature one is disappointing; transformation of country-boy into mighty wizard and warrior is disappointing not less.
There are many interesting scenes, which are not present in film; many scenes are not equal to the book: how could Brom be there during the Arya’s liberation? He died during the fight against Ra’zacs, how could he be there? In addition, Arya was unconscious until the end of the book; she talked to Eragon mentally because of the poison in her veins, while in film she was “all right”.
Too many mistakes, compared to book, that is why the film was rated too low. As I said earlier, Eragon got its 31 place of the worst films of U.S. Moreover, this is absolutely justified: director of this movie spoiled this book. The film looks like not like movie, but it looks like a trailer, which is only just a little bit longer then the common trailer. Besides the mentioned mistakes, there are also few:
Eragon was a 15 years old boy with brown eyes and hair, while in film there is a 17 years old boy with his blonde hair and blue eyes.
Zar’roc has a gold pommel with a ruby, handle wrapped in silver wire, while the sheath is a wine-red color, and Morzan insignia on both sword and sheath. While in film Zar’roc has a silver pommel with a sapphire, handle wrapped in leather, sheath of this sword is black and there is no Morzan’s insignia.
Story takes place in winter (book), or in the middle of spring (film).
Saphire breath fire only at the climax of the final battle, only to distract Shade from Eragon; her fire is blue (book). Saphire uses her fire before the final battle and destroys many enemies; fire is orange (film).
It is unknown that Brom is a Rider until his death (book); Eragon knows that Brom is Rider far away from Brom’s death (film).
Durza is tall and slim, very pale with crimson hair, maron eyes, sharp teeth and ordinary nails. (Book); Durza is not slim or pale; he has crimson hair, white eyes, ordinary teeth and sharp fingernails. (film)
Arya has dark hair, green eyes and pointed ears. She is taller than most men, including Eragon. She has tattoo on her right shoulder. (book). Arya has reddish-gold hair, blue eyes, and human ears. Shorter than Eragon and has no tattoo. (film) (Fanpop)
There are many mistakes, excessively more. The film is full of mistakes; this list is not even the half of the mistakes list. I cannot even imagine how the film would be good if there were no such things. Still, this movie has his mistakes, and disappointing filling, and I if we compare it to book it would get a 2/10 score, since it will be a very “pale” screening. This film would be interesting for those who did not read the book. However, for those who have read the book from beginning to end it will only be a disarrangement.
The director of “Eragon”, Stefen Fangmeier and his crew did not fulfill the duty, putted on them. They failed all the expectations of the book fans, but also did not do the film any interesting for viewers, who have never met the original book. The film will be a disappointment for most viewers, but I still accept that there are people who like this film.
Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. Print.
Eragon. Dir. Stefen Fangmeier. Prod. John Davis and Wyck Godfrey. By Peter Buchman. Perf. Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, and Sienna Guillory. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 2006.
Fanpop, Inc. "Eragon Article: Differences Between Book And Film *Potential Spoilers*". Fanpop.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Tompkins, Jane P. Reader-Response Criticism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. Print.