Movie review: Stardust

Stardust is a great Taken in Hand themed movie that I'm sure you all will love.

It was not heavily promoted when it came out in 2007, many people have never even heard of it, but it is a gem. It is a fantasy/adventure/romance starring Claire Danes and Charlie Cox, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro in key roles.


The story follows the life of Tristan, a young man living in a 1800's-ish English town named Wall, due to the a long wall running alongside the town. There is a gap in the wall that is guarded day and night so that none may pass, and local legend is it that the land beyond is strange. In fact on the other side of the wall is a magical kingdom of Stormhold.

Tristan shop boy who is madly in love with the beautiful Victoria, he lacks some self confidence but still tries to win her in his awkward way. She is more interested in the confident and wealthier Humphrey but she enjoys being chased and likes that she can wrap Tristan around her finger and make him do what she wants. She does this to the point of causing him to lose his job in fact.

On the day he loses his job he takes her out on a nighttime picnic, including champaign. As she sits there noting that it must have cost him all his savings to do this she casually tells him that Humphrey is going to propose marriage to her next week on her birthday and she intends to accept. Humphrey is already on the way to Ipswitch to get the ring.

Tristan tells her that for her hand he would go much further, and about that time they see a star fall, landing far off on the other side of the wall. Tristan gets Victoria to agree that if he can go and fetch the fallen star for her by her birthday, that she will marry him instead.

When he gets to the star, it turns out that in Stormhold a fallen star is not a rock, but a woman. He uses a magical chain he acquired to chain her by the ankle and lead her back to see Victoria. Needless to say the star, named Yvaine, is not very willing or happy about all this.

There are others in pursuit of Yvaine since eating the heart of a star can restore youth and extend life by centuries, perhaps even to immorality. When Yvaine escapes from Tristan she quickly falls into the hands of one of her pursuers, but Tristan gets her out of there only to land them both in the thick of other problems.

Unlike with Victoria, Tristian is not afraid to take charge of things and Yvaine falls deeply in love with him as he controls, defends and protects her. An emotional high point comes at a time where she thinks he can't hear what she is saying. She confesses her love and fully pledges herself to him in no uncertain terms, with no limits or qualifiers. I'm sure every guy who sees that part wishes his wife would say what she says there if she hasn't already.

Later on he admits that he heard what she said, and confesses that he loves her too, but in the morning he is gone when she wakes up. A miscommunication leads her to think that Tristan intends to carry on with his original plan. Heartbroken but obedient she sets off alone for the nearby wall to be presented to Victoria, not realizing that once she leaves the land of Stormhold, she will become nothing more than a rock...

There is a LOT I've left out of course. The movie is so great in so many ways It has lots of action, humour, and romance and is a perfect date night movie to watch together. It shouldn't be too hard to find at a local video store, but you might want to buy it instead.


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I loved this movie, and I love Taken in Hand, but I must say I disagree. While it's an excellent story about finding one's own courage and what the meaning of love really is, I would not consider Tristan and Yvaines courtship as Taken in Hand. Especially your remark at the end- "heartbroken but obedient"- That is not true. The reason she went (more evident in the novel) was because she did not believe what had happened and wanted to confront him. Also, the constant arguing and subsequent making up, teaming up, and defeating the enemy would suggest their relationship is geared towards equality and balance, especially with the backdrop of the whole Victoria situation, and how he was mistaken in his ideal of love and how to achieve it- in fact, Yvaines confession was partly a lecture about just that.

Tristan and Yvaine had a wonderful dynamic, and were a very realistic and engaging couple with their own balance of faults and strengths, but how the story came together when they blended indicated to me that they were not Taken In Hand, and that's fine- There are many wonderful, positive relationships that aren't.

To each their own, I suppose, but though I loved the book, movie, and being Taken In Hand, I definitely couldn't apply my own preferences of relationship onto their behaviour.

Movie vs book

The movie departs from the book in a number of ways. In the movie as she walks to the wall there is not one hint of anger or intention to confront him. She seems clearly heartbroken to me, and does it only because she believes it is what he wants of her.

Tristan is clearly in control in his relationship with Yvaine, first as her captor, then as her protector. He wasn't afraid to be assertive with her right from the start. At the start of the movie he was a shop boy totally in Victoria's hand, at the end he is a man who has Yvaine in his hand.

It isn't in your face about being Taken in Hand, but I think it shows a flavour of it that will resonate with Taken in Hand couples (and it really seems to resonate with lot of couples not in Taken in Hand relationships too).