Four Stars for ‘Four Feathers’

Red and Black

“‘The Four Feathers’ offers lots of explosions, accents, the desert and an aesthetically pleasing leading man.”

— Heath Ledger.

Starring: Heath Ledger, Kate Hudson, Dijimon Hounsou

Directed by: Shekhar Kapur

Rating: A-

Lowdown: A beautifully costumed war epic that reaffirms loyalty and strength and whatnot.

The film, a remake of the 1939 version of the same name, tells the story of Harry Faversham (Ledger), an English soldier who seems to have everything: upright soldier posture, the girl and a tight-knit group of pals, who also happen to be soldiers.

Despite the fact that Harry’s an all-around good soldier, he’s terrified and resigns from the army when he finds out that his regiment is being deployed to fight in the treacherous deserts of Sudan.

As a result, his friends and fiancÇe send him four feathers, which are the white badge of cowardice.

Harry, in a display of manliness and determination, decides to go to Sudan, help the English army and return the feathers to his friends — with a few interesting problems along the way, of course.

This film is filled with great performances by Ledger, along with many others.

Kate Hudson and Wes Bentley are excellent as Harry’s girlfriend and best friend, but the real gem in the cast is Djimon Hounsou, who plays the wandering Abou Fatma.

Hounsou, who appeared in “Amistad” and “Gladiator,” portrays Harry’s friend who prays and kills in the desert.

Director Shekhar Kapur gives viewers a great setting to the story. Kapur, who also directed the Oscar-winning film “Elizabeth,” was born in British India, and this film definitely has a foreign mystique to it.

My only complaint? Harry travels thousands of miles to return feathers.

While I admire his determination to prove he’s not a coward, he does seem a little crazy to travel all of this distance to return the same pieces of fluff that make his pillow soft.

The movie shows how the bonds of friendship can prevail over all sorts of obstacles, and love can pretty much do the same thing, as well.

The film also strikes up some good old fashioned English patriotism, which should be great … for the English.