THE SEARCH FOR CLEOPATRA'S CROWN
directed by Mick Cusimano
Every now and then, I stumble upon a film that fails to communicate a single thing to me. Although it is my habit to look deep and find some positives in every production, I returned empty-handed from my viewing of ‘The Search for Cleopatra’s Crown’.
The film starts off with a horrendously-animated sequence which describes the history between the crown belonging to the renowned Queen of Egypt. When the French army commandeered by Napoleon sailed into Egypt at the very end of the 18th century, they discovered the Rosetta Stone, statues and mummies from previously unopened ancient tombs. Among the prized possessions discovered, the film states, was the crown of Cleopatra. Kept a secret from Napoleon, it was smuggled away by archaeologist Pierre-Francois Bouchard, eventually ending up in the hands of a Boston merchant. In the present day, the people of Boston learn about the artefact’s potential presence, and start a city-wide search for it. The action unfolds with sequences of animations, news reports and interviews, alongside a theme of poking fun at the educational system.
The quality of the image, the sound and the design of the news reports is abysmal. The speech varies in intensity and clarity, but most of it is completely unintelligible, even when using headphones to obtain higher quality sound. The acting is amateurish, completely unconvincing and at times extremely overacted. The plotline was not clear to me, because I could not comprehend most of the dialogues.
A niche with a taste for such a style and structure certainly exists, and a certain portion of the audience will likely enjoy this project. However, I mean it as no sign of disrespect towards writer and director Mick Cusimano, a distinguished and appreciated artist, that this particular work of his will not be appreciated positively by our festival.