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The Four Feathers(2002)

The story, set in 1885, follows a British officer (Heath Ledger) who resigns his post when he learns of his regiment's plan to ship out to the Sudan for the conflict with the Mahdi. His friends and fiancée send him four white feathers which symbolize cowardice. To redeem his honor he disguises himself as an Arab and secretly saves the lives of those who branded him a coward.

The Four Feathers(2002)

In what is at least the fifth filmed version of THE FOUR FEATHERS, a soldier ordered to war resigns his commission. He has just become engaged to a girl he adores and the concerns of a battle on the other side of the world do not seem important to him. His friends and his fiancée send him four white feathers, accusing him of cowardice, and he fears they may be right. So he disguises himself as a native and follows his former regiment to the Sudan. He will not risk his life for the honor of his country, but he will risk it to protect his friends and to prove that they were wrong about him. This time, Heath Ledger plays Harry Faversham, the reluctant soldier, with Wes Bentley as his best friend, Jack, and Kate Hudson as Ethne, the woman they both love.

Plot: A British officer resigns his post just before battle and subsequently receives four white feathers from his friends and fiancée as symbols of what they believe to be his cowardice.

Heath Ledger: Harry Feversham is one man who receives the four feathers and decides to go out and risk his life to save them the best he can. He must join the enemy soldiers to help protect them in the battle. Heath gives a good performance in the leading role and shows why he was picked for these types of roles. (7/10)

Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger) is a member of the British Army who resigns his commission on the eve of being shipped out to suppress an uprising in colonial Sudan. Angering his mates and doll-eyed fiancé Ethne (Hudson), Harry receives four white feathers (probably chicken feathers), one from each of his friends and his girl, symbolically branding our dashing hero with a fowl artifact of cowardice. Inspired (we have to guess) by his cultural shunning, Harry stows away to the Sudan, hires a camel caravan led by a French Legionnaire (his first mistake) to take him to his disloyal chums, and, disguised as a native Sudanese (uh huh), contrives to prove his courage and return the four feathers. The increasingly-unlikable Wes Bentley clenches his jaw as Jack, Harry's one friend to resist bestowing the badge of dishonour but also obviously evil from the start with designs on the wilting Ethne. Stealing the film, however, is the striking Djimon Hounsou as Abou, Harry's man Friday, who washes out by the end as the sole heroic figure in the entire mess.

The Four Feathers is a 2002 directed by Shekhar Kapur. It is based on the 1902 novel of the same name by Alfred Edward Woodley Mason and is the seventh film adaptation. 1884: Great Britain wages war in Sudan. Patriotism is rampant at home, but the British officer Harry Feversham does not allow himself to be infected. He has hated military service for years. In the middle of the Sudan war, shortly before a battle, he quits the service. Thereupon he receives four feathers as a token of his cowardice: three from his comrades and one from his fiancée, who turns away from him in disappointment. Disgusted by his cowardice, he disguised himself as an Arab and slips behind enemy lines to free his comrades.

In both films, Harry Faversham is a man out of step with his times, but the difference between the interpretations is everything. 1939's Harry is a man of outstanding character who purposely undergoes voluntary mutilation and humbling hardship, just to show what a superior fellow he is. He singlehandedly rescues all of his old friends, and helps turn the tide of a major battle in the bargain. When Harry's gallant spy work is revealed, all four who damned him with white feathers are humbled. It's the perfect Victorian story of the good Englishman who goes outside the system to prove himself. Harry is apart but equal to the militaristic honor code of his day - as when he finally makes the blowhard old general back down from his pompous stories about glory in the Crimea.

In the new film, Harry's incognito ruse is underplayed, and even the ritual of returning the four feathers is mostly dropped. The central relationship between Harry and Jack has a muted finish, skipping any dramatic confrontation, or any real resolution. Instead, Jack makes a fast friendship with a Man Friday-like native, Abou (Djimon Hounsou), a ridiculous noble savage character. Abou (a name patronizingly remindful of Abu of The Thief of Bagdad) speaks excellent English, and trades jokes with Harry as if they had gone to grade school together. Perhaps Abou appears in the original book? He really comes across as an effort to inject contemporary diversity into a story that shouldn't know the meaning of the word. The 2002 film ends with a forced image of Harry thinking about Abou riding the sand dunes. It's a poor man's nonsense rewrite of Gunga Din.

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The Four Feathers (Shekhar Kapur, 2002), one of many movie adaptations of the 1902 novel of the same name by A.E.W. Mason, is a period drama and action movie set in 1875. The film follows a young army officer, Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger), who resigns his military commission when he discovers that his regiment is due to ship out to fight the Mahdi forces in the Sudan. In reaction to his decisions his friends, and his fiancee (Kate Hudson), send him four white feathers as a symbol of his apparent cowardice. To redeem himself and restore his honour he travels to the Sudan and disguises himself as an Arab, secretly saving the lives of those who branded him a coward and eventually winning back the love of his fiancee.

This sixth rendition about known story by A.E.W. Mason concerns on a British young officer named Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger) . Resigning from Army , he's rejected by his father (Tim Pigott-Smith), branded as a coward and sent four white feathers by his friends (Wes Bentley, Michael Sheen) and his engaged fiancée (Kate Hudson) . Determined to save his honor he heads to Sudan against Derviches . There arrives the expedition of help commanded by General Wolsey and Kitchener for stifle the rebellious Sudan's tribes ruled by 'the Madhdi', the expected one (events narrated in Khartoum film -1966- with Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier , directed by Basil Dearden). The Madhi along with Arab tribes had besieged Khartoum (1884) and vanquished General Gordon . Faversham disguised himself as a native will save his friends from certain death and he will retrieve the lost honors . He's only helped by a valiant African-Muslim native (Dijimon Honsou) . Then , there took place the major fight scene , the Battle of Abu Klea , on January 17, 1885 when British Desert Column of approximately 1,100 troops fought a Mahdist force of over 12,000 dervishes . This spectacular adventure detailing the epic feats of a brave hero contains noisy action , idealism , romance , unlimited courage , breathtaking battles and impressive outdoors . Heath Ledger as a stubborn officer is cool , Wes Bentley as his best friend is convincingly played and Kate Hudson as his girlfriend is enjoyable . Special mention to Dijimon Honsou as the corpulent helper . Sensational battle scenes made by hundreds of extras and by means of computer generator . Evocative cinematography reflecting the late 1800's and spectacular African landscapes by cameraman Robert Richardson . Appropriate and atmospheric musical score by James Horner . The motion picture was professionally directed by Shekhar Kapur . He's a costumer/epic expert , as he proved in Bandit queen and Elizabeth I and its sequel . Other adaptations about this famous story are the followings : The classic rendition by Zoltan Korda (1939) with John Clemens , Ralph Richardson and Jane Duprez ; 'Storm over the sand' (1955) by Terence Young with Anthony Steel , James Robertson Justice , Mary Ure and Laurence Harvey ; and for TV (1978) By Don Sharp with Beau Bridges , Jane Seymour and Robert Powell.

The Four Feathers was a film that didn't receive much public interest or anticipation when released in 2002. I didn't even hear of the film until it was being advertised on STARZ as a new release on the network. I decided to flick it on not expecting much but was pleasantly surprised by the film.Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger) is the son of a British war hero. Along with his friends, he is among the top officers being shipped to the Sudan where rebellion has broken out. Harry, unlike his friends, doesn't want to be a soldier and resigns his post. After receiving four white feathers from his friends and fiancée he decides to head to the Sudan to help his doomed friends. The acting is top notch with Wes Bentley, Heath Ledger, and Djimon Hounsou in leading roles. The setting of the deserts of the Sudan is brilliant used in the film. The battle scenes aren't overdone and are emotionally charged. The film surprised me, with having such a great story, great acting, and great filming, I was disappointed to see it didn't get better from the critics and public.Take my word for it, The Four Feathers is a worth see adventure/drama.The Four Feathers. Starring: Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Djimon Hounsou, and Kate Hudson.3 1/2 out of 5 Stars. 041b061a72


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