Monday, February 21, 2011

The Eagle

We had a very relaxed weekend, with only a couple of obligations. Miss Mary competed in the county Hippology competition; she placed fifth. I can't remember if there were 6 or 7 kids, so it wasn't a stellar finish. But, considering that this was only her second year, and that she competes with her age group, most of whom have been competing for at least 6 years, I'm pretty proud of her.

We had a small birthday party for her with a couple of friends on Saturday night. We planned to take the kids to see I Am Number Four, which Michael Medved had said he planned to rate "Number Two," but actually liked. But one of the party goers reminded us of The Eagle, and we changed our mind.

Back in junior high/high school, I read a raft of historical novels by British writer Rosemary Sutcliff. Many of her books are set in Bronze Age or Roman Era Britain; one memorable one for me was a retelling of the Arthurian legend. My kids read her retellings of The Iliad and The Odyssey.

The Eagle is based on her novel, The Eagle of the Ninth. Marcus Aquila is a young Roman officer of a Gallic legion posted to Britain. His own father served there some 20 years before, in command of the 9th Spanish Legion, which marched north and never returned. The consensus is that they fled to the other side, joining the British tribes and dishonoring the Empire. In the process, the Eagle standard of the 9th was lost. (The Legio IX Hispania/9th Spanish Legion actually existed; look it up.) Aquila is severely injured in a dramatic rescue of some of his troops, and, although honored by Rome, is discharged from the army due to his injuries. Having been disgraced in his eyes, and living under the stigma of his father's supposed actions, he decides to undertake a quest into the north of England/Scotland to retrieve the Eagle, which reports say is being worshiped by a very nasty tribe.

He takes along his British slave, Esca. Wacky hijinks, as my son would say, ensue, and both learn much about honor, friendship and themselves. I highly recommend this film, especially for young teens. It has all the action and adventure of films like Gladiator, with less of the gore and none of the sexuality or innuendo. The teens I saw it with enjoyed it, and, between them, they've seen tons of movies.

By the way, I am posting this from my new laptop. It is an inexpensive Gateway, but it was inexpensive and does what I need it to do. And, if I stupidly leave it on the Milan-Venice train in THREE MONTHS!!! no harm done!

1 comment:

Glenda said...

Thank you for this. I have this book on our list to read this year. I'm now going to write down somewhere safe (ha!) this movie so we can watch it afterwards.