Let's Watch: Stardust



I should mention that, before now, we saw a scene where the falling star hit. In the impact crater, we see the necklace, but we also see a young woman pick the necklace up. This is important now because Tristan teleports on top of her. He thinks she's his mother at first, since that's who he was thinking about when he lit the candle. She quickly points out that she's obviously too young for that. All this sequence serves to do is to highlight Tristan's towering idiocy.

The woman's name is Yvaine, and like everyone else in this movie, she's absolutely insufferable. She's whiny, annoying, and played by Claire Danes. The last part is not a damning indictment, but the actress is doing nothing to help the horrible writing here. I get the feeling that the dialog was supposed to show Yvaine as innocent and endearing, but it just doesn't work and Claire ain't helping.

At some point in this conversation, Tristan realizes that he was brought here because he wanted to get the shooting star for Victoria. Apparently, Yvaine is the shooting star, which Tristan finds somewhat unlikely. For, you know, obvious reasons. However, once she convinces him of this fact, he...

OK, before we continue, I need to be fair to Tristan. Despite the towering idiocy and gross immaturity displayed thus far, he is only 18. It's a forgivable sin, especially for a story about becoming more mature. There's no point in writing a story about someone becoming more mature if they're already mature, after all.

But what would you do? If you were deeply in love with someone, no matter how much they don't really deserve it, how would you react to this situation? You promised to get your beloved a falling star, only to find that the falling star wasn't a rock like you expected but a living, breathing woman.

I imagine that, if you're like most people, you would accept defeat. You'd accept that you can't bring back a falling star, so you light your teleportation candle and leave. Maybe you'd bitch about it for a while to someone who doesn't care (Yvaine), but that's it.

Guess what Tristan does. I'm totally serious here; I want you to guess. Stop reading and take a guess.


Did you guess that he would use his mother's slave cord to tie this woman up and make this woman his slave to be given to his beloved?

Fuck this movie.

Immaturity is a forgivable crime. Enslaving someone you just met to give as a gift to your girlfriend is not! This was the point for me where Tristan, our main character, became utterly irredeemable. This was the point when the movie went from being merely poorly written to utter dreck.

He didn't ask her nicely to stop by Victoria's before going back up into the sky. He does tell her that she can use his teleporting candle to go back to the sky after Victoria sees her, but he only does this after tying her up. He only presents this as a fait accompli.

And this sequence doesn't even make sense if you take the horrible morality factor out of it. What, is he really going to march Yvaine up to Victoria and claim that she's a falling star? If someone pointed out a pretty blond and said that she was in reality a fallen star, would you believe them? Of course not.

I don't understand how anyone can have any sympathy for him ever again. Which is why I don't get the positive reviews of this piece of shit.

I'd like to have some sympathy for Yvaine; she is an innocent in all of this. However, I found it rather difficult to do so. Part of this was likely due to recent exposure to good fairytale romances, vis-a-vis The Princess and the Frog. Yvaine is just so much the stereotypical damsel in distress in these scenes; if she made at least a token effort to escape, it'd be a lot easier to tolerate her annoyance.

Also, there's the simple fact that from the angry banter between these two, it is inevitable by the law of the cliché that they'll fall in love. Yvaine is going to fall in love with the kind of guy that will enslave someone as a gift! What does that say about her?

After the main character has finished earning my eternal ire, we cut to a variety of scenes that I'm sure were intended to be funny. Some of them work; there's a scene where the witch Lamia needs a carriage to travel in. She ask a random farmhand to give her a goat, but he points out that one goat can't pull the carriage. So naturally she turns him into a goat.

But sometimes, the humor just fails. The scene where one of the Prince brothers is killed off is not funny at all; naturally, being about that Plot Tumor, it does not matter at all towards the plot. There is one plot-relevant scene through this, where Lamia encounters another witch and asks to share some food. The other witch, named Ditchwater Sal, happens to be the owner of Tristan's mother.

Sal puts something in the food that causes Lamia to say much more about her quest than she intended to let on. Naturally, this pisses off Lamia, so she hexes Sal; she will be unable to sense the fallen star in any way, shape, or form.

Does this advance the plot? Only in the most stupid way possible, but we'll get to that.

The next thing of semi-importance to happen is a very odd scene with Septimus, the Prince asshole-brother from before. He's out with his soldiers looking for the necklace. He has some kind of divination expert with him; his divining tool of choice is throwing the bones.

Septimus suspects that the diviner is lying to him. So, he does something rather clever. Septimus has the diviner throw the bones where he can see them, then asks him to divine a bunch of information Septimus already knows. He uses simple yes/no questions. By doing this, he learns how to divine.

Then, he tells the diviner to throw the bones really high into the air. While they're airborne, he asks the diviner if he's working for his only living brother (Primus). The bones tell him yes; the diviner would have said no of course, which is why Septimus had to learn how to read the bones. Thus, he kills the guy.

I get the distinct impression that this scene is trying to make me hate Septimus. But I have no idea how the writers thought that might happen. First, killing someone doesn't make you evil a priori; killing people who don't deserve it does. And while killing the guy may have been rather extreme, I would point out that he's a two-faced lying bastard. The diviner was rewarded as a traitor deserves; it's rather hard to condemn someone for that.

Second of all, this shows Septimus to be the cleverest person in the whole movie. Basically, the movie is asking me to hate the smart assholes and like the stupid assholes. Couple that with the fact that he'd more than likely kill the main couple if he got a hold of them, and I have every reason to want him to win.

Moving on, we get more from Tristan. Because she's a star, Yvaine is nocturnal. Also, the crash may have broken her leg. Which also means that Tristan has been force-marching a woman with an injured leg. In any case, she needs to sleep during the day, so Tristan ties her to a tree. With his mother's slave cord. Stay classy, Tristan.

Then, he walks off to town to have a pint or something. Why? Clearly, his mind is capable of doing only two kinds of things. By force-marching a woman with an injured leg and tying her to a tree, he's filled is "insufferable prick" quotient for the day. So he's had to move on to be a complete moron.

And just how stupid is it to let your slave out of your sight for several hours? Well, he doesn't come back for her until well after night falls. By then, a convenient Unicorn has appeared and freed her; they can cut the magically enchanted slave cord with their horn. Obviously. She climbs on, and they charge off into the night.