People who were following me on twitter on the day I first watched Tarsem Singh’s Immortals will know that I fell in love with the film, for values of love that involve huge amounts of laughter, utter bewilderment and genuine aesthetic appreciation. I watched it for the second time today, and those feelings have intensified. It’s a beautiful film, and also a ridiculous one. And it contains much in the way of headgear.
I mention this because Mickey Rourke’s helmet (he plays Hyperion, the villain of the piece) is one of the things most people notice about the film. It is a remarkable item.
But the film is aware of this. Early on, as Henry Cavill’s Theseus teases his mother Aethra (Anne Day-Jones) about her religious beliefs, pointing out that their priest wears a silly hat. He does. It has multiple little lights on it.
Silly hat representation is skewed towards the men, but Freida Pinto and her sibylline sisters get personalised red lampshade headdresses at one point.
I’m not even touching the Minotaur helmet that plays quite a big role.
The Gods get the best hats, though. Here is a representative sample. Note that Athena’s is the least interesting.
Then again, this means we can have scenes like this. Which would make everything worth it, even if the hats were not an end in themselves.
[This next bit is possibly a spoiler. Be warned.]
At the end of the film, we’re treated to a series of artistic representations of the events of the film, the idea being that some version of them will pass into myth (hence the guy-with-bull-helmet turning into the Minotaur, see?). So what aspects of Hyperion does Singh predict will pass into legend?
Yes, the bunny ears.