Everything Is Possible in Neil Gaiman’s Stardust Universe
I adored Tolkien from my school days, and I still stay in touch with my inner child as I watch an incredible epic about hobbits and orcs on demand. But the truth is, from a different, more mature perspective, “The Lord of the Rings” is a relic from my childhood, and the fiction of Neil Gaiman and another brilliant Briton, Terry Pratchett, is what you need to perceive the world when you are 26.
Satire, humor, love, treachery, the eternal opposition of good to evil – in general, everything that we learned from fabulous literature, but in time-honored format. There is no desire to explore the boundary between a fascinating journey and the rationality of an adult brain. In general, such a fantasy must be loved, as one loves Neil Gaiman.
Neil Gaiman is an English science fiction writer, the author of graphic novels and comics. He has written many scripts. And also on the basis of mythology and Nordic legends, he created the universe of “American Gods”, which we will talk about in the future, and perhaps also “Stardust,” “American Gods,” or “Good Omens” (in collaboration with Terry Pratchett) – one of his most popular series and films.
His books are fantastic novels for adults. Sometimes we can call them fairy tales, but the question of how much real meaning is intertwined with the other-worldly makes us think and enjoy the picture at the same time.
One of These Films Is Stardust
Stardust was filmed in 2007 by director Matthew Vaughn (“Kingsman”, “Layer Cake”, “X-Men: First Class”). The film is about a curious guy, Tristan, from the town of Wall, a courier in a grocery store and part-time prince. But he does not know about that yet. His heart belongs to the most beautiful girl, Victoria (Sienna Miller). She, as befits a true lady, a beautiful lady in those days, uses the poor guy and selfishly takes him for granted.
At this time, in a parallel world, a change of power takes place: the king (Peter O’Toole) dies and one of the sons is in line to become the next heir. The king has been cunning and treacherous. In the past, he killed his brothers to become king. He did the same with his sons.
As a result, 4 out of 7 brothers remain who continue to fight for the throne. He announces a test – raises the issue of the pendant, and throws it out the window from the summit of the castle. The pendant knocks down a celestial star, Yvaine (Claire Danes) and she falls to the ground. In the story – owning a star means immortality. The star will give you infinite power, youth, beauty, wealth – everything that makes the soul tremble. Provided that the heart of the star must be obtained and eaten, and therefore the beautiful star must be killed.
Another story line has to do with witches. Three sisters – Lamia, the witch queen and the main antagonist (Michelle Pfeiffer), Empusa (Sarah Alexander) and Mormo (Joanna Scanlen) see a shooting star and begin the hunt. They need to take possession of the heart to stop aging and losing their vitality and beauty.
Meanwhile, Tristan and Victoria observe a shooting star. Tristan’s rival – Humphrey (Henry Cavill) – is also fighting for Victoria’s heart and has already decided to ask her to marry him. Tristan argues with Victoria, proposing that if, in a week, he fulfills a promise to bring her a fallen star, she will refuse Humphrey and marry him. Tristan goes in search of the star; but it is necessary to cross the wall, behind which is the kingdom of Stormhold. No one is allowed to cross through the wall, so Tristan tries to trick the guard, and is defeated. Tristan’s father tells him the secret of his birth – many years ago, Dunstan Thorne also tried to cross the wall, and he succeeded.
He entered a magical land and fell in love with Princess Una (Kate Magowan), who was bewitched by the Ditchwater Sal and became a slave. Dunstan and Una spend time together and after 9 months there appeared at his doorstep a basket with a baby – Tristan. So begins Tristan’s great journey, a journey to the heart, to true love, and to the royal throne.
In general, the Neil Gaiman’s books allow a lot of space for good things to happen. As in Stardust, even in the lousiest world of greed and sarcasm, there is a place for grace and sincerity. Here, for example, is Captain Shakespeare, played by the incredible Robert De Niro, the leader of the lightning hunters – heavenly pirates and robbers, but in the story Captain Shakespeare is ambiguous and hides his second identity behind a mask of anger and coarse manhood. Secretly, he is kind, gentle, and caring. With a quivering soul and a big heart.
In addition, the plot transforms some characters from a negative incarnation into a positive one – Ditchwater Sal, it would seem, turned Tristan’s mother into a bird and made her a slave, and eventually helped Tristan and Yvaine get to the city.
The main characters experience deeper changes. Tristan becomes more courageous and attractive, and he discovers the power of determination and self-esteem. Yvaine experiences earthly feelings – love and devotion and confesses them to Tristan when he is turned into a mouse. Captain Shakespeare descends into personal depths and begins to reveal his weaknesses to the world. But in fact, all his weaknesses are strength and power. As a result, the team exposes his secret desires to dress in women’s costumes and paint. But none refuse to be on his team.
Another important, perhaps not so noticeable thought that Gaiman communicates to the audience is the acceptance of oneself. Completely. How important it is to be able to see your beautiful qualities and not try to change the inner world as perceived by the outside. That there is nothing more important than loving the innermost parts of us. And do not waste energy with people who do not understand us, for goals that we don’t really need, or for the sake of universal approval and being noticed.
After all, there is only one rule – you are either appreciated from the very beginning, or you should not wait for the magical hour. It will never happen. Although, who knows what happens behind the wall?
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