- Taking Liberties
- December 13th, 2015
During the search for some potential Craig replacements last week i came amongst others onto the name of Ben Barnes, who was listed on IMDB as having played the protagonist of the miniseries Sons of Liberty on History Channel earlier this year. It sounded intriguing and I've always been interested in the era of the American Revolution / War of Independence, so i gave this three-parter a chance.
And well... it turned out a lot like Turn - Washington's spies. Fun to watch, lovely costumes and scenery (even if SoL makes a bit too much use of night time, foggy weather and other sight distorting measures, probably to save a bit on the budget) but they very much favor making up their own history and a lot of dramatic scenes in lieu of what really is reported to have happened.
Sam Adams is portrayed as adventurous, if not even athletic youngish rakish man of dubious character (most of what is shown about the ways he earns money seems to be on the shady side of things) despite him being 45 at the time of the sacking of the governor's mansion and fifty-ish when Boston Massacre and Tea Party occurred, leaving politics only ten years later due to poor health. Hancock is presented as a foppish gentleman who needs to bribe the governor to look the other way when he smuggles his merchandise into town because otherwise (by paying all dues and taxes) he would make a loss when selling it in Boston) and who came to know Adams through need for halfworld help in bettering his smuggling methods.
John Adams is in close contact to the more rebellious subset of Boston society and Paul Revere and Dr Joseph Warren belong to it even if only offering support instead of taking part themselves in the activities like a boycott of Tory merchants and publicans...
I'll readily confess that i'm not very well read in the whole subject, but this deems me a bit too flashy and action laden to portray the real situation 145 years ago... But then, Americans always liked to reinvent themselves. And their history.
And of course it is nice to watch. With the Hans Zimmer Soundtrack and most scenes dominated by the shining scarlet of the king's uniforms it ends up being very fetching and thrilling and entertaining. And i loved every time they showed majestic ships on the seas and at harbour. But to constantly see the soldiers clubbering people down with their musketshafts and now they seem intent to make a lashing scene outgruesome the Passion of the Christ... *sigh* ... it's all a bit thick on the "we had every right to rebel" message it's trying too hard to send. And every time they show the accompanying events back in London we get served a quote of utter disdain to those low class colonists. It's starting to be a bit exhausting.