October 24, 2003
Beyond Borders is a movie with a turbulent history that dates all the way back to 1999. At that time, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kevin Costner were slated to star, with Oliver Stone directing. All three quickly departed the project, but Costner and Stone eventually returned, with Meg Ryan taking over for Jones. Things simply didn’t work out with Ryan, and Angelina Jolie came aboard. Shortly afterward, Costner again dropped out, and Ralph Fiennes replaced him. Suddenly, the actors’ strike was looming and Mandalay pulled the plug on production altogether, and Beyond Borders was considered dead. Months later, it showed new signs of life, and though Fiennes and Stone were replaced with Clive Owen (Croupier) and Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro), with Jolie staying on in the lead role.
The story of the film’s development is almost as epic as the movie itself should be. Beyond Borders details a romance between two star-crossed lovers and is set across many years. Jolie stars as Sarah Jordan, a generous socialite who is married to the son of a wealthy British industrialist. Owen plays her love interest, Nick Callahan, a medical student who turns to international disaster relief. Sarah is moved by his impassioned plea for assistance in war-divided Africa. The journey leads the pair to meet in many remote areas of the world, rekindling their romance again and again even as society suffers disasters and war behind them.
Epic romances aren’t exactly easy to sell at the box office, and Beyond Borders looks to be no exception to the rule. Despite the presence of two excellent leads in Jolie and Owen, the story seems somewhat bleak and perhaps even dull. Unless the film has some spectacular performances and the romance really touches a chord with audiences (see: Titanic), look for Beyond Borders to have only a minor impact. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Comparison films for Beyond Borders
|Enemy at the Gates
|Captain Corelli's Mandolin
|Four Feathers, The
|English Patient, The
|End of the Affair, The