Volume 74, Number 32 | December 15 - 21, 2004



koch on film

By Ed Koch

Alexander (-)

Most of the critics referred to this movie as a turkey, but believe me, this turkey can’t even walk let alone fly. Poor Alexander. He was mugged by Oliver Stone.

The script is awful and the acting is not much better. The role of Alexander is played by Colin Farrell. Angelina Jolie portrays Olympias, Alexander’s mother, and Val Kilmer plays the role of King Philip, Alexander’s father. One critic described Jolie’s accent as that of a Dracula, and he was right. She sounds ridiculous. Just as ridiculous are the Irish accents of Farrell and his Macedonian soldiers. Anthony Hopkins is a one-man Greek chorus providing historical details, but he too is not at his best.

Much has been made of the attention given in this film to Alexander’s bisexual orientation. His male lover is Hephaistion (Jared Leto). The two occasionally kiss, but other than referring to love in their conversations, no attempt is made to exhibit a sexual relationship between them. A group of young Greeks recently complained that Stone’s reference to Alexander’s homosexuality defames him. They are foolish. Every American student studying ancient history knows that bisexuality was commonplace at that time in Greece.

Alexander conquered most of the known word and died, probably of poison, in his early 30s. Stone had so much to work with in directing this film: intrigue, treason, locales, homosexuality, warfare, horses vs. elephants, and stunning wardrobes, but he failed miserably to weave what could have been a great visual story. Too bad.

Someone told me that The History Channel did a superb, two-hour docudrama on Alexander that puts this $140 million dollar movie to shame. I would suggest that you check out that show and avoid this film.

- Ed Koch

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