Russel Crow in one of his finest works. He plays a naval captain during the times of the Napoleonic Wars. He is a British Naval Captain hunting a French Ship, which is out of his ships class. Ships in the time were classed by size and number of guns. The French ship was vastly larger than the British ship and had way more cannons. They took a lot of time to portray what life was really like on a ship during the period. They showed what food was eaten by sailors and what their daily routine was. There was even a lot of small amazing details, in one scene they show a sailor pooping on the front of the ship where sailors would poop. It was a short clip passing the sailor very quickly. It was just impressive to see the small details they demonstrated. The life of a sailor was very and carefully demonstrated in the film. It showed the split between sailors and officers. What they ate and drank was very interesting. Sailors drank rum and ate simple grool. The officers drank wine and ate well cooked food and ate from fine silver and dined at a table. The sailors ate their food in their bunks off of wooden plates and wooden spoons. It was necessary for all of them to drink alcohol because water would go bad and would make everyone sick if they drank only water.
They also showed the way battles were fought out in the open ocean. Ships had to utilize naval navigation was more important than anything else during battles. Where a ship was position in respect to the other ship. It is strategically vital to be behind the other ship. The film demonstrates the difficulty and skill involved in naval navigation and warfare. The main theme of the film is the difficulties of being a leader of a ship on the ocean. It was vital to choose the lesser of two evils. In one scene the captain must kill one of his own crew to save the entire ship. Thus, having to choose the lesser of two evils, one sailor for the life of everyone on the ship. Choosing the lesser of two evils is prevalent throughout the entire film.
In another scene one of the sailors is drunk and disrespects one of the officers and has to be punished. Having the sailors drunk was necessary for moral. If he didn’t allow the sailors to drink they would not have been able to deal with life out in the ocean. Thus the lesser of two evils to have the men drunk and occasionally disrespectful rather than having them sober and completely revolting against the officers. In one scene the captain asked one of his friends to choose between two weevils, two small bugs. His friend chooses the bigger weevil, the captain responds with no, one must always choose the lesser of two weevils. It is an homage to the theme which is the lesser of two evils since weevils is close to evil.