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Geri

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I can understand how it could happen, especially since Sybilla was trapped in an unhappy marriage with a dispicable man. What bothers me more is that for a man who was in such profound grief over his wife's death Balian seemed to forget about her rather quickly. I mean, the first serious overture that Sybilla made towards him, he crumbled and in a relatively short time he's confessing that he loves her. I would have preferred to see a lot more resistance on Balian's part out of love and deference to the wife he seemed so desperately in love with.

I'd have to watch that scene again to refresh my memory but I don't remember Balian actually confessing his love to her. He fell into bed with her but remember that he and his wife had lost a child before her death; couples who have just lost a baby aren't exactly fornicating like rabbits. He's a young man who has most likely been celebate for the better part of a year so when an attractive woman comes along with a proposition like that he's hardly likely to turn it down. :lol:

Sybilla was in love with Balian from the start but Balian has a troubled conscience about his feelings. He has no difficulty keeping his distance from her after their lovemaking and only goes to her when he hears of her son's death.

I agree that they could've done something to make that more obvious. His troubled conscience would have been more obvious if Balian woke up before Sybilla the next morning and was thinking about his wife. When they ride past his wife's grave at the end he pauses while Sybilla rides on oblivious but so much has happened by that point in the film it feels like too little, too late.

In the special features Scott commented that the boy really had nothing to do with Balian's central story and that was why he was cut from the theatrical version. I was surprised by that. The death of the king and the succession has everything to do with the central story. It also give Sybilla and Balian an emotional link; they've both lost a child.

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What bothers me more is that for a man who was in such profound grief over his wife's death Balian seemed to forget about her rather quickly.

What is not belaboured in the film is that at the time it took about a year to travel from France to the Holy Land and as has been pointed out it takes a long, long time to go from dug well, through all of the terracing, to planting, to germination, to crop.

And even after all that time, and even when he rode off into the sunset with another man's wife at the end of the film, to me, he still did not look at ease with it. I think it was his wife he was remembering at the newly budding tree at the end, as it was his wife that planted the tree.

Loni has a good point here. I agree that enough time had passed to make it seem reasonable that Balian would be ready to have a relationship with someone else. But I'm still not entirely satisfied with the way the story was told. I think that what bothers me (besides the fact that Sibylla is a married woman) is that the Director's Cut didn't add anything that would have provided any sort of closure to Balian's concerns about his wife's fate after her death. As far as I can remember, he never mentions her again after he buries her cross. Even if the "conclusion" to this storyline is that there can be no conclusion -- that no one can ever know whether Balian's wife would be forgiven for her sin (or for that matter, whether Balian and Sibylla would be forgiven for theirs), I would like to have seen it mentioned.

But this is a small point that detracts only very slightly from a truly excellent movie.

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I can't say that I'm pleased that Sybilla was still married when she seduced Balian, but given the circumstances (and the now-added proof that Guy certainly wasn't faithful), I can be understanding. As for Balian's capitulation, it does seem that he felt guilt afterward and sought to correct the situation through right action. In the end, that decision was rewarded.

I can't remember if the scene I'm about to mention was in the Director's Cut or one of the Deleted Scenes (it's all running together now :lol:), but there was a scene when Jerusalem is preparing for the siege where Balian is walking atop the wall and runs across a woman and her child. In his mind, he sees his late wife in the woman and exchanges a tender smile with her. He is not grieving, but he is a little wistful. To me, that was an indication that he still loves her but has buried her at last, allowing him to later go to Sybilla and offer her a life with him.

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Kira, the scene you speak of was in the deleted scenes and I couldn't agree with you more. It's too bad that scene wasn't put back into the movie. I haven't really given my two cents worth on this version of the movie so here goes, Ridley took what was an absolutely beautiful movie, albeit with some 'holes', and made it into one of the best movies I have ever seen and a movie that has touched me like no other!

Mary :heart:

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I have finally had time to digest all the Extras, except the deleted scenes, and would like to name a few favourites.

1.I loved the growling dog bit, of course. His giggle is just so infectious you just have to giggle along with him. :lol:

2.Did anyone spot his cheeky practical joke on the 1st A. D. during the filming of the food store scene in the behind-the-scenes? He comes up behind the A. D. and sprinkles grain on his head, then runs off with the guy after him? Adorable. :wub:

3. In his commentary he speaks of being very nervous about the speech on the ramparts and all the prep he did for it.only to have lost his voice on the day due to having the flu. I really felt for him when he said this, as I am sure he knows of the totally unfair criticism he recieved for his delivery of the lines. But what I loved, and what made me glow, was that he then realsied that the knighting of all the men of Jerusalem was actually the key part of that scene. The way he says that one simple word of "Yes" to the bishop always gives me goosebumps.

4.Orlando's sheer delight at having the sword fight with Guy being put back in and admitting that he was really upset it was left out of the theatrical cut. Now we know how he got that scar on his hand that was evident during filming of Elizabethtown.

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4.Orlando's sheer delight at having the sword fight with Guy being put back in and admitting that he was really upset it was left out of the theatrical cut. Now we know how he got that scar on his hand that was evident during filming of Elizabethtown.

When I first saw that scene at that theatre in Los Angeles, I became really angry that it was left out of the theatrical version. Orlando absolutely shines in this scene, and am sure both he and Marton gave all they had to film that scene. We can only imagine how disappointed he and Marton must have been when they saw it was left out. And forgive me for saying this, friends. I still don't understand this concept that people are willing to watch that King Kong VS. T-Rex scene in King Kong, but aren't willing to watch a fight scene between Balian and Guy. :blink:

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Exactly what I was thinking, Suzie! :blink:

Adrianne, You bring up a really good point with the time period between the death of Balian's wife and child and then the meeting and "falling in love" with Sybilla.

And Suzie brought up the deleted scene where Balian has that exchange with that women and her child. It being a happy memory for him.

So I think after the point that Balian goes to where Christ was crucified, he was at peace with his wife and childs death. "How can you be in hell, if your in my heart?" I really think that this shows that Balian was and had moved on. Moved on passed what had happened.

Yes Guy was a first class :censor: ! Sybilla was not happy obviously. It was more of a marriage out of convinience in a way. They were married but did not love each other like a real married couple should. So, not that I think that adultery is ok, I just think that is this situation is was in a way. Guy and Sybilla were married on paper but not in their hearts.

I am sure I crossed some sort of line just there but that is how I feel. I believe that Balian and Sybilla went on to have a very happy life together! :wub:

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I have been thinking about this issue and the scene where she finds Guy in her rooms with her son and throws him out and objects to his touch almost looks like the marriage may not even have been consummated at that point because Guy goes immediately to proposing his Blackmail Deal to try to maintain his position.

So if she hadn't been completely Guy's wife it wouldn't really be adultery with Balian? :blink:

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I agree with everyone here who pointed out the passage of time. Ridley didn't make it obvious, but most of us can assume that travelling from France to Jerusalem in those days would have taken many months, if not a year. And bringing irrigation to arid land and growing crops would again take many months. So we can assume that one-two years had passed from the time of Balian's wife's death to the time of Balian's affair began with Sybilla.

A clue to the morality of the times (at least in the eyes of Sybilla) is found in one of the deleted scenes where Sybilla says something like "adultery is a sin for common folk, but not for us (meaning royalty)". So she had no problem with it, and Balian being a man, would be weak in this respect. :lmao:

A poignant scene that I wish had been left in the movie, or at least in the Director's Cut, but was not (it's found in the extras "deleted scenes") is where Balian approaches Sybilla in the crypt after the decimation of the Templar army and just before the seige. Sybilla says, "if you had taken the world and more, I would have loved you less", referring to Balian's refusal of the King's offer and hers. This was Sybilla's way of apologizing to Balian for her subsequent actions. I loved the look on Balian's face as she said this.

There was so much to this movie, and so many new scenes in the D.C., plus all the great scenes that never even made it to the D.C., it leaves me breathless. Ridley Scott has made a masterpiece, and Orlando and the rest of the cast and crew have reached a new height in excellence.

Our children, and our children's children will be watching Kingdom of Heaven for years to come. Great works are often not recognized as such when they are born, but live to see the acclaim of viewers yet to come. :clap:

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I'd have to watch that scene again to refresh my memory but I don't remember Balian actually confessing his love to her.

He didn't confess at the time he fell into bed with Sybilla. Later when Balian is in the wilderness just before all hell is about to break loose, the hospitaler asks Balian if he is in love with her. Balian says yes. I don't know how much time has past by then. Perhaps I need to watch the film again to get a better understanding of the elapse of time. I know travel was long and arduous in those days. I guess I just didn't get a clear idea of how much time has gone by. Perhaps the indicators were a little too subtle for someone operating on very little sleep, as I was.

I can see the idea of time passing being indicated by the amount of growth that takes place on Balian's land, in which case was Sybilla in Balian's house for months? Without seeing her son? Because there seems no indication at all that she left and then returned.

Then again, perhaps the idea of the adulterous affair, under the circumstances, bothers me more than I had realized. It seems to me that if Balian's main purpose, in the beginning, was to seek pardon for his sins and his wife's, then he shouldn't have compounded the issue with adultery, however justified it might have seemed. And I believe Balian did become remorseful about it. I have to admit there is a small part of me that would have prefered that there be no romantic involvement for him. I would have liked it better if there had been more about Balian's spiritual struggle. He seems to have a far greater understanding of how God expects us to treat our fellows, than most of the so called 'religious men' in the film, including his own brother; as well as a greater understanding of God's capacity for compassion and forgiveness.

In any case it's certainly not a critism of Orlando's performance. That was superb to say the least. It is a critism of the script, I suppose. In any case it would have been fascinating to see Balian struggle, even more than he did, with his demons.

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Maybe the adultery in this case is another example, as many in the film of a ‘Right Action’ that Balian chooses against a bad moral or social law. Sybilla's marriage is one of political convenience, the better way for a man and a woman to exist together is with love, respect and tenderness. A religion that says a suicide must go to hell is rejected, a religion that makes war against another religion is rejected. To Balian a man may be noble even if he is born poor. The kingdom of heaven is not Jerusalem but resides in the human heart. And at the end of the film the best destiny of a man and woman is to be together, to tend the land and not to seek war or glory.

It’s revolutionary stuff this film!!

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Maybe the adultery in this case is another example, as many in the film of a ‘Right Action’ that Balian chooses against a bad moral or social law. Sybilla's marriage is one of political convenience, the better way for a man and a woman to exist together is with love, respect and tenderness. A religion that says a suicide must go to hell is rejected, a religion that makes war against another religion is rejected. To Balian a man may be noble even if he is born poor. The kingdom of heaven is not Jerusalem but resides in the human heart. And at the end of the film the best destiny of a man and woman is to be together, to tend the land and not to seek war or glory.

It’s revolutionary stuff this film!!

I agree, for the most part. Except that I don't see adultery as a right action, however justified it may seem. Balian didn't see marriage to Sybilla under the circumstances offered as a right action even though there were reasons to justify it. I suppose I'm not getting my objections across very well. Nonetheless, I'm not going to turn this into a forum for moral debate. So, I'll just leave my thoughts where they stand.

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I just watched it for the second time and just like the first time it left me shaking, especially that swordfight scene, that really gets me going. My Dad also watched it with me and I can tell he really liked it. It takes a lot for movie to impress my Dad. Another thing I noticed, usually when he watches a movie he falls asleep half way through it but he did not do that with Kingdom of Heaven. Orlando and the movie had his undivided attention from beginning to end. :)

Kim

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I have just a couple of observations about Balian's adultery. As so many have said, it didn't happen right away. My own feeling is it's been about two years since his wife's death. And even though he was very attracted to Sibylla, he didn't make the first move, she did. I have no doubt they were both in love. He never claimed to want to be a "perfect knight", his father told him he was to be a "good knight". That being said, it still doesn't justify adultery, but it helps me understand how it could happen. To me, what jolts him to awareness is that two of the people he admires most in Jerusalem, Tiberias and King Baldwin, could see his love for Sibylla as a political tool. The fact that she's the one who apparently made the suggestion to her brother to have Guy killed, is what gives him the final push to break it off. I think that's why you find him later in the middle of nowhere staring at the light.

Whew, that went on a little longer than I intended.

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I just watched the film with commentaries by Sir Ridley, William and Orlando and at the end Sir Ridley says it has been a 3 year journey for Balian.

Can you ladies just see Orlando as Robin Hood as written by William and directed by Sir Ridley?!! Yahoo!!!!

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Oh, Loni.....I love that thought ! Orlando as Robin Hood, in a serious portrayal directed by Ridley Scott. I envision Robin getting dirty and bloody, rescuing Maid Marion, dueling with King John, and saving the day for all ! :2thumbs: (But it will never happen, I fear. :cry:)

Now, back to the Director's Cut KOH DVD: Towards the end of the KOH extra with monologue by Ridley, Orlando and Monahan, there was mention of a possible sequel :w00t: -- but Ridley said "what could he do with Balian, who certainly wouldn't go back to crusading" so it appears that sadly we will never see Balian again. But thanks to Ridley Scott, we have this wonderful Director's Cut. :hug: I'm still in the process of watching the extras, and each day I find something new and wonderful.

Sybilla certainly was a complex character, and even with the Director's Cut, one cannot quite figure her out. Then, add in the deleted scenes that never made the D.C., and you find out even more. It's hard to judge whether she was good or evil -- she was good when she sought comfort from Balian and when she protected her son from Guy's influence; but was she evil when she schemed for Guy's death, carried on an affair with Balian, and finally, killed her own child? I guess to judge her you would have to walk in her shoes and understand the moral climate of the times. Sometimes Sybilla rubbed me the wrong way, but there were times when I felt sorry for her and almost liked her. Eva Green had a challenging role, was excellent in it, and had a right to be disappointed at how much was left out of the theatrical release.

Although Kingdom of Heaven didn't win any awards as a theatrical release, I know a lot of people viewing the Director's Cut will feel that they deserve some belated recognition. :clap:

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Now, back to the Director's Cut KOH DVD: Towards the end of the KOH extra with monologue by Ridley, Orlando and Monahan, there was mention of a possible sequel :w00t: -- but Ridley said "what could he do with Balian, who certainly wouldn't go back to crusading" so it appears that sadly we will never see Balian again.

I think it's probably best if they don't do a sequel. When you really fall in love with a character it's easy to drag out his story well beyond the point when there is anything to tell. Usually it's best to let them go and enjoy the memory you have of them.

Sybilla certainly was a complex character, and even with the Director's Cut, one cannot quite figure her out.It's hard to judge whether she was good or evil.

That's one of the reasons I like her character so much; she can be best described as 'human'. In Sybilla Ridley and Bill have given us a realistic picture of the contradictions in every human heart. Most women in films and television are either saints or demons. Sybilla is someone who admires good people and tries to be one herself but doesn't always make the right decisions. That's another possible reason so many people didn't know how to react to this film initially - mainstream audeniences usually like the woman to be predictably good or predictably evil. In this film, the woman was a little too human for a mainstream audience.

Great works are not recognized as such when they are born, but live to see the acclaim of viewers yet to come.

Very true. Already I've had people asking me what I thought of it because they've only recently heard how good it is. It will most likely have it's greatest success in years to come.

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After watching the DVD extras, don't you get the feeling Orlando took a lot of teasing from some fellow cast members about his "adoring fans"? Alexander Siddig and Brendan Gleeson seemed to take great joy in it. To me, it's another example of how much the people he works with like and respect him. :heart:

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What more can I say that you all haven't laready said? This is the version that should have been released it benefits all the actors and lives up to the Ridley Scott standard of excellence. And if Balian showed up in my town and I had a loveless marriage to Guy, I'd have done the same thing as Sybilla. :naughty:

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Regarding the sequel possibility. My Dad has watched almost as much of all the KOH EE stuff as I have. I wanted to pass on one comment he's made. He always assumed that Balian and Sibylla were riding off to follow King Richard at the end. "They're going on the same path that the crusaders came from in the beginning." I was :huh: but we are actually really arguing the point at the moment.

Yup, BrownEyedDad is quite a gem. :wub:

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He always assumed that Balian and Sibylla were riding off to follow King Richard at the end. "They're going on the same path that the crusaders came from in the beginning." I was :huh: but we are actually really arguing the point at the moment.

I have to agree with BrownEyedDad on this point. If Balian and Sybilla were leaving both Jerusalem and Balian's hometown behind them wouldn't Scott have shown them riding down a different road than Richard?

The end of the film mirrors the beginning. When his father asks Balian to come with him Balian turns him down flat and follows later. At the end he turns Richard down flat and then we see him looking at Sybilla who has a sad, rather homesick look on her face. Remember, she was born in Jerusalem and had never even been to France before. Then we see them riding down the road after Richard. It seems quite clear.

But perhaps it's just a case of believing what you want to believe. Maybe that's what Scott intended us to do and so left for us to decide what Balian and Sybilla should do.

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I saw the ending much differently. Sybilla and Balian were riding out of the village, but if you recall, it was upon the same road on which Godfrey and his knights rode in. The crusaders were, at the beginning of the film, on their way to Jerusalem and came upon the village on their way (intentionally, as we learned), so I can only assume that Balian and Sybilla were moving in the opposite direction of Jerusalem, since they rode out in the direction from which the knights came at the beginning.

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I saw the ending much differently. Sybilla and Balian were riding out of the village, but if you recall, it was upon the same road on which Godfrey and his knights rode in. The crusaders were, at the beginning of the film, on their way to Jerusalem and came upon the village on their way (intentionally, as we learned), so I can only assume that Balian and Sybilla were moving in the opposite direction of Jerusalem, since they rode out in the direction from which the knights came at the beginning.

That's what I thought, too, Geri. But my Dad saw it as the crusaders were coming into the village from Jerusalem to begin with. (Intentionally for the son Godfrey believes he has there in his hometown.) So, being that it is the same road. But, I didn't necessarily think Balian and Sibylla were 'going' anywhere. I thought they were back to stay, and having a look around, as it were.

But it seems it could go whichever way you'd like, really. :wink:

Of course, now I must watch it again just to make sure for myself. :shiny:

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I was left with the feeling that both Balian and Sybilla had learned the hard way that politics and all of the soul-destroying compromises it requires were not what they wanted for their lives. The sacrifices just don't make up for the dubious rewards. The trip back to France was a way of tying up emotional loose ends for Balian - but we know his uncle didn't want him there, even before Godfrey killed his son. My take was that Balian and Sybilla were off to start a new life for themselves, as far as they could get from wars, deceit and intolerance. With his skills, Balian could make a living anywhere he chose to go without ever raising a sword again. There are a lot of places to stop along the way, whether the road leads east, west, north or south.

Krissy

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