I love Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novels, including the Alatriste series which can be compared to the Musketeer novels but with both self-awareness and awareness of what was to follow for that society. But why someone thought it was possible to turn seven novels into one movie and still retain some any sense of plot, character and continuity escapes me.
The movie follows the lives of veteran soldier Alatriste and his protégé Íñigo Balboa from 1623 until Alatriste’s death in the Battle of Rocroi in 1643. In between spells in the army he becomes involved in various intrigues as an occasional sword-for-hire and makes some dangerous enemies including Fray Emilio Bocanegra (Blanca Portillo), a Dominican friar and president of the Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition.
Blanca Portillo’s head was shaved for the role; Im not sure if this movie was filmed immediately before or immediately after Volver in which she played the cancer-sufferer Agustina.
José Luis Pérez was the makeup department head. He was nominated for the Best Makeup and Hairstyles / Mejor maquillaje y peluquería Goya.