Viking Night: Stardust
By Bruce Hall
February 22, 2012
Stardust wastes no time getting started, with a snappy prologue regarding a roguish young peasant boy named Dunstan who stumbles upon a kind of dimensional portal. He does this by taking advantage of a kind, but weak and half senile night watchman on the edge of town. That's right, he tricks a silly old man into turning his back for a second, so he can pass through a mysterious stone wall at boundary of the village of Wall. Don't look so shocked. I tried to warn you he was roguish. And if you need a good answer to a trivia question, or if you're wondering whether the village is there because of the wall or the wall is there because of the village, the movie tells us the answer is "A".
Anyway, Dunstan enters a new world - called Stormhold - which resembles a typical English village crossed with a Gypsy flea market. While there, Dunstan does what any wholesome English lad would do in his situation. He lays some pipe.
Like I said…he's "roguish".
Dunstan finds a nice young shop girl who pours him a sad story about being the prisoner of an evil witch, and slips him a mysterious trinket in exchange for the sort of kiss you only give to someone if you've never kissed anyone before. So of course, they slip into the traveling wagon and get down to it. Nine months later, Old Wall Man shows up at Dunstan's door with a bouncing bundle of dramatic irony. Yeah, take THAT, you…boy who likes to sneak through forbidden fences in the dark of night chasing falling stars and impregnating Gypsies.
Oh, that's right. Did I mention that Dunstan was chasing a falling star?
Our man is a hopeless romantic who likes to do spontaneously headstrong things like chase falling stars and pick up interdimensional strange. Well, let's see how romantic you feel when you've changed your third diaper of the day before sunrise, kid. But Stardust isn't reality, it's a fairy tale, and so Dunstan dutifully raises the child. But in case you didn't know, every baby that anyone has ever left on any doorstep anywhere has a story behind it. This one does too.
His name is Tristan, and if that makes him sound like a Daddy's Boy, it's because he IS one. Tristan works in Dunstan's general store selling Dristan. No, I'm kidding. But he does lose his job when he wanders off with Victoria, a local lass who happens to be the apple of his eye. And he loses his dignity in a cane-fight (in so far as two men in blazers sparring with sticks can be called a "fight") with Victoria's fiancée - a smug aristocrat named Kal-El Humphrey (Henry Cavill). It looks like he's lost his shot with her, but every bit the bleeding heart his father is, Tristan appeals to her one more time.
He spends his last shilling plying her with a candlelit picnic and tales of adventure in exotic places like London, Paris, and, one of only two other major cities ever mentioned in American movies - San Francisco. Tristan may have a big heart but he sure has no idea how to talk to a shallow rich girl.