By Kristin Battestella
You would think there’s nothing new to say about Sharpe’s Sword- the eighth film in the British television series. In some ways, actually, there isn’t. Sharpe’s Sword retreads familiar ground, but refreshes the oft-told storyline with romance, villainy, and charm.
Sword opens with French Colonel Leroux (Patrick Fierry) ambushing a religious convoy. Only young Lass (Emily Mortimer) escapes, too shocked to say anything when Major Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) and his men rescue her. Sharpe also captures Leroux in a skirmish, but he has switched coats with his aide and claims to be a simple soldier. Sharpe doubts Leroux’s story, but is tied by Major Munro (Hugh Ross) and Lord Jack Spears (James Purefoy) ruling against him. Sharpe and Spears, however, become friends on their mission. Munro needs them to ensure the safety of
There’s a lot to cover in Sharpe’s Sword and yet it can read like the likes of fan fiction: Sharpe Beds Mute Girl. On one hand the storylines in Sword seem a bit preposterous, yet they are dang good, too. Everyone has something to do here. Sharpe and each guest star, Harper, Harris, Hagman, Ramona. Everyone has a chance to prove his or her love, loyalty, worth, honor, or villainy. Not as ridiculous as Sharpe’s Gold, but Sword even has a bit of realistic mysticism to it. The power of a love, loyalty, and religion is examined well here.
Like Sharpe’s Battle before, Sean Bean’s titular character is not necessarily the star of this episode. Sure everything that happens does so because of him, but Bean spends a large portion of the film convalescing. Sword is carried by the fine performances of Daragh O’Malley, Diana Perez as Ramona, and Emily Mortimer as Lass. It’s never easy to act without speaking, and the ambiguity of Mortimer and John Kavanagh as Father Curtis add to the story. The villains are vile as ever. It is quite bad on my part, but I couldn’t tell if Spears really didn’t have an arm or not. But of course I looked up where I had seen Purefoy before, and well,
Sharpe’s Sword fortunately utilizes new locations this time around. I don’t know how authentic the fort is, but it looks cool. The monastery and library also look lovely and peaceful-a flowery break in the midst of war. The battles are quite fine in Sword as well. The turns the action takes are unexpected, even though Sharpe really shouldn’t be charging a fort after the wounds he sustains. It’s a little unbelievable, but if you’re still watching this far in the series, you don’t mind routing for the miraculously healed Sharpe.
Of course, there are still no subtitles or digital perfection, but Sharpe’s Sword has well done action, acting, loyalty, and betrayal. Not bad for Sharpe Beds Mute Girl.
ETA: Please see the comments below for further opinion on the Sharpe's Sword novel.