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Asterix: Roman glory, Gaul story

What is not to like about the indomitable Gauls and their constant skirmishes with the long-suffering Romans? The French-Belgian 3D film follows the general plot of The Mansions of the Gods , the 17th comic book by Goscinny and Uderzo, which was published in 1971.

Caesar decides to defeat the little Gaulish village holding out against the might of Rome by sneaky means. He orders the setting up of a Roman colony close to the village to corrupt the Gauls.

Everything goes according to plan with the forest being replaced by high rises, the price of Unhygienix’s fish skyrocketing and the smith, Fulliautomatix, selling his wares as antiques. All seems lost when Chief Vitalstatistix and others in the Gaulish village take apartments at the Mansions of the Gods, sporting togas.

However, Asterix and Obelix, with a little help from Druid Getafix and his magic potion, set things right and it all ends with the mandatory banquet and the bard, Cacofonix, gagged.

The film cannot take credit for the puns on names and the super-clever digs at trade unions, strikes and advertising; those are from the comic book. While the expansion of the plot is understandable, the changes are not. That throwaway pun where the frustrated architect, Squaronthehypotenus, decides to give up urban planning in favour of building pyramids in Egypt was sorely missed. And incidentally, Mansions of the Gods was the one adventure where Cacofonix was part of the feast, as he helped defeat the Romans in the book .

This might be nitpicking by a dedicated fan, as the movie is visually appealing. It’s also the first Asterix movie in 3D and the lovable characters are beautifully animated. The fights are colourfully energetic and Obelix’s favourite wild boars are delicious-looking.

The movie comes to Indian screens more than a year after its French release (November 2014). A happy, colourful 3D trip to ancient Gaul thankfully has no expiry date, by Toutatis!

Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods

Directors: Alexandre Astier, Louis Clichy

Voice Cast: Roger Carel, Guillaume Briat, Lionnel Astier, Serge Papagalli, Florence Foresti

Run time: 85 mins

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 11:09:36 AM |

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