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A section from

‘A Jedi shall not know hatred, nor fear… nor love.’ from Star Wars Episode II






CONTAINS SPOILERS (but the film isn't a mystery, so you could still enjoy it after reading)


“Have I told you about the Mbaka?”


Prince of Persia is not a film you get great quotes from. You go if you’re a fan of the genre and your expectations are restrained. But when the Tax-evading Ostrich race-fixer makes that statement the context is haunting.


On to the film.


Nizam is brother and counsel to the King of Persia. The King, himself widely respected for his temperance has two sons (Tus & Garsiv) and he adopts a young urchin after the boy’s bravery makes an impression. Because of the King’s proximity to his brother Nizam (who once saved him from certain death at the hands of a lioness), the young princes are often taught the importance of fraternal loyalty.


But away from the King’s sight Nizam is not an honest man - his ambition drives him to seek the crown for himself and weaves an intricate plot (that unfolds through the course of the film) to obtain the kingdom of Persia for himself and rule for an entire lifetime.


The story starts of with the princes and Nizam coming across information that the neighbouring holy city of Alamut is forging weapons and arming enemies of Persia. Despite initial doubts the war-counsel decides to move fast and invade the city to teach them a lesson. Though Garsiv wins the privilege of entering battle first after successfully petitioning Tus (the heir apparent), Dastan clandestinely breaches the walls of Alamut and opens the gates giving the invading Persians a great start.


Chance puts the Dagger of Time (one of Alamut’s most prized possessions) in Dastan’s hands and when Guardian of the Dagger - Princess Tamina of Alamut, sees this she takes the opportunity to save Dastan from being apprehended after he is falsely accused of assassinating his father the King. The ubiquitous love-hate relationship thus develops.


While on the run Dastan uncovers the secret of the Dagger much to the horror of the Princess. She tries to pry the weapon from him while he thinks of ways to clear his name and apprehend the real murderer. En route to the King’s funeral (where Dastan intends to clear his name) the duo encounter the tax-evading ostrich race fixer and his Numidian Mbaka bodyguard.


These two characters - the race-fixer and his bodyguard are the coolest character of the film.


Meanwhile the evil Nizam unleashes the Hassansins - a banned group of deadly assassins (who can only be described as middle-east ninjas) and their Nas’gul (LOTR) look-alike horses to kill Dastan who has uncovered the Nizam’s plot.


Dastan’s first attempt at clearing his name fails and he remains a fugitive; but now his problem is a bit worse because the wily Princess Tamina has separated him from the Dagger and escaped with it. Nevertheless it doesn't take him (dressed like the lead in the Assassin’s Creed game) long to track her (looking Arabian Nights seductive) down and form a bond with her in the midst of a sandstorm. Then, through a twist of fortune the Prince of Persia and Princess of Alamut recruit the Ostrich race-fixer and his bodyguard to help them restore the balance and equilibrium to the world that Nizam sought to disturb in his quest for the throne of Persia.


After more battles with the Hassansins including a one-on-one showdown with the Mbaka, the final battle between good and evil takes place in the belly of the earth. By then Dastan has cleared his name with his family and all that matters to him is the Princess and saving the world. 


Verdict: the first 30 minutes were filled with ’typical twists’ in plot, but from then on it became worthwhile. The film has a lot of homage to the video games with all the ‘parkour’ stunts. One disappointment was the foreign accents.  The only people who would not enjoy the film are those who hate the Fantasy / Adventure genre. The ending is a little chauvinistic and typically alpha-male with the feisty nature of the Princess negated. It is worth watching because despite knowing what will eventually happen you aren't waiting for the film to end.


Also on

Journeys of the Prince of Persia




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The Prince and his motley crew of crude but effective soldiers is similar to Achilles and his myrmidons. Both leaders lead from the front and have a problem with authority, their armies are hand-picked and have a strong connection among themselves, and their tactics are far from textbook.

The Prince of Persia and the Princess of Alamut.

The Arabian Nights (above), along with Han Solo, Aragon & Sinbad the Sailor (all below) were inspirations for the character of the Prince.

The evil Nizam