Sharpe’s Siege Fine Mix of Humor, War
By Kristin Battestella
1996’s Sharpe’s Siege has all the things one expects from the British series-ladies in distress, Napoleonic action, humor, and camaraderie. Siege however, offers a few surprises.
Major Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) is ordered to leave his new wife Jane (Abigail Cruttenden) and march with his new arrogant Colonel Bampfylde (Christpher Villiers) to a castle in
Sharpe’s Siege sheds light on the relationships between Sharpe and his men. O’Malley nearly steals the show with the humor and absurdity of Harper’s toothache and Philip Whitchurch gives another fine yet peculiar turn as Captain Frederickson. Even the red shirt riflemen are given personality and meaning as they come and go.
Strangely, it’s Sean Bean’s Sharpe that seems off this time as well. He seems to get over his wife’s illness very quickly. Would he really place the mission and the army above his new wife? Would he give a remedy that would cure her to the enemy, and then almost get down and naughty with a Frenchwoman? In the books, perhaps. At least the villains are on form. Incompetent Colonels and ambiguous French thankfully keep Siege’s focus on battles and intrigue.
The premise of Sharpe’s Siege seems stretched thin, but it’s a pleasant change of pace to at last get into a campaign in
Sharpe’s Siege is not perfect. There’s too little and yet too much going on between characters old and new. Thankfully, by this time, the franchise knows what works, and Siege is a fine edition for Sharpe fans to enjoy.