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Reflect on Joss Whedon's Serenity at Den of Geek
chrisdvanne_ Post # 1 | Monday, 07 Nov 2011 - 12:03
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Den of Geek! is looking back at Joss Whedon's Serenity in a detailed and illustrated article.

Serenity HQ promo

Despite Nathan Fillion's Mal being front a centre of most of the show's advertising and artwork, Firefly had always been an ensemble effort. Luckily, all the cast members returned for the movie instalment with Zoe (Gina Torres), Wash (Alan Tudyk), Jayne (Adam Baldwin), Kaylee (Jewel Staite), Simon (Sean Maher) and River (Summer Glau) still on the ship, and Inara (Morena Baccarin) and Shepherd Book (Ron Glass) having departed since the series' finale.

Despite the strength of the cast, and various member's rising TV profile, it was still a film full of unknowns, and everyone involved seemed to know it would make the movie a hard sell. However, the story would remain that of the ship's captain, Mal, told intermittently from the perspective of their unstable house guest, River.

All of the performers do an outstanding job of re-inhabiting the characters they had brought to life on TV. Summer Glau deserves particular mention, as she did her own fight sequences with a mixture of martial arts and ballet, using her experience as a dancer to learn the extensive routines.

This River is a little more sinister than the lost little girl we followed during the course of the series, but her eventual victory rings true to both interpretations and she never loses her humanity despite essentially being a glorified plot-device. The rest of the crew are sidelined in pursuit of a coherent narrative, but everyone's natural affinity with their characters helps them remain present, if not centre stage.

Source : Looking back at Joss Whedon's Serenity at Den of Geek!

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FordStaff Post # 2 | Monday, 07 Nov 2011 - 15:11
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the story would remain that of the ship's captain, Mal, told intermittently from the perspective of their unstable house guest, River.

It is pretty equally their story I would say, Serenity is hardly just the story of Mal told from River's perspective. No one can convince me that River is not the focus of the story when she is the one with the most clear character development during the series and movie. The birth metaphor alone present in the movie and pilot "Serenity" makes it clear that her development is present and important. In the movie it is not even clear whether Mal has finally gotten his serenity or not. His only development was in the first ten minutes of the series, not that it was not important. Perhaps Mal is just broken forever, it is hard to tell clearly. We know the operative is his foil, but the operative becomes broken just like him. I find it confusing as to where we are suppose to see him going as the movie does not make it clear one way or another whether he has come to terms with anything(whereas with River it is quite clear) or if he is still trying to keep flying. Perhaps that is his only way to cope just keep going.

Most everything else in the article seems reasonable except for the claim that

We also meet the Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in this pre-credits sequence, a man who would occupy the main villain role of the movie.

He is no villain. Niska, Saffron, and Jubal Early are all villains. The Operative is about as anti-villain as it gets. Well he gets something else wrong too -

Serenity surpasses even the best episode by a fair way

I am sorry, but even if we assume that Serenity surpasses the best episode (I would not even say that) it most certainly will not be by a fair way.

An intersting observation -

Inara's absence has caused Mal to sink into the darker character he was always intended to be. Apparently not at home on network television, here the characters could be as multilayered as needed. Mal had to be in a bad place at the start of the movie in order to emerge the hero by its end, and the departure of his love interest and 'spiritual teacher' of sorts achieves that as smoothly as possible.

The pilot has many things discontinued through the rest of the series such as Inara's nick name and the the use of the word hump, but the most glaringly apparent is Mal's darker character. In a way it makes a lot of sense, the movie implies that Inara is keeping Mal from an even darker place than he would otherwise be in. During the Pilot episode Inara threatens to leave the ship if he does anything to River or Simon. This threat could have caused him to become less dark for the rest of the series, until she leaves and he reverts back to his pilot episode tendencies exactly just what happens in the movie.

Keep Flying - Not much, but it's enough.

Message edited by FordStaff - Monday, 07 Nov 2011, 19:42 Forum » Filmography » Firefly/Serenity » Reflect on Joss Whedon's Serenity at Den of Geek
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