Nostradamus (1994) starring Tchky Karyo, F. Murray Abraham, Rutger Hauer, Amanda Plummer, Julia Ormond directed by Roger Christian Movie Review

Nostradamus (1994)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Tchky Karyo in Nostradamus (1994)

A Vision of the Past

As a child he started to have terrifying visions of war and destruction and as he grew up Michel de Nostredame (Tchéky Karyo) not only became notorious for these visions but also having to deal with those who were sceptical of him especially when it came to his treatment of those suffering from the plague. But as time passes his influence grows as he is appointed court physician to Charles IX of France.

Nostradamus is a name I have heard a few times in my life but the extent of my knowledge was that he had visions of the future which in hindsight some suggest were visions of actual events from wars to deaths. As such as I sat down to watch "Nostradamus" I feared this movie would not be for me but hoped that whilst some aspects may do nothing for me I would finish the movie with a better understanding of who Nostradamus was. Well yes I learned something about him but found "Nostradamus" a slog, a movie which ends up far too stiff for its own good.

I get a feeling as I watched "Nostradamus" that maybe there is too much to squeeze in to one movie when it comes to his life and so what we end up is what I had feared, a movie made for those who already know the story of Nostradamus and for some reason wanted to watch it dramatized. As such there are huge gaps in the story from his relationships to how he knew certain things when it came to the treatment of illness. It is because of these leaps and gaps that for those without knowledge of his life the movie doesn't fully work.

But it is not just the gaps which causes problems for the movie as there is also the acting and Tchéky Karyo's characterisation of Nostradamus can only be described as passive. I just found it lacking in emotion and far too often it felt too light, to one toned and in need of much more darkness to come across as believable.

What this all boils down to is that "Nostradamus" didn't do it for me as whilst I finished the movie knowing more about the man than before I started the nature of the movie made it very slow going. Basically this feels like another one of those movies made for people who already know the ins and outs of Nostradamus' life rather than those who watch with no knowledge at all.