Which is a little ironic, because the first time I saw the sequel, The Legend of Zorro, I hated it. I can’t even tell you why I hated it, now, because of the two I love and adore the sequel far and above the original. I think it may have had something to do with the fact that they had messed with history just a bit too much, made the characters older, even “mature,” or flat out old if you’re feeling uncharitable.
Which is why the movie works so well as a romance, and probably why it tanked at the box office. Really good romances never sell in film as well as they do in books, and the romance between Alejandro and Elena was established and had a history…there was much more at stake than just broken hearts, including their son.
Nevertheless, the movie grows on you, and if you watch it purely as a romance, it works very well indeed.
There’s a lot I could say about this movie’s romance storyline, but I will severely restrict my tongue.
For nearly a year now, I’ve been deprived of watching them because someone (nameless) misfiled the DVDs in the weirdest place in the house…at the bottom of a pile of my taxation filing. Which guaranteed I wouldn’t look at it for at least a year. I’ve been tearing shreds off my family for a year, utterly convinced someone (nameless) had loaned the movies out to a friend, who had carelessly failed to return them (a death penalty offence in my friendship contract), and I’ve been building up to a slow boil all year.
Until I opened up the filing and there they were. I still have no idea how they got there. Honestly!
But I’m very glad to get them back.
I mentioned in a post the other day that I showcase delicious romance moments in my Pulse Pause Moments series, and I did a quick search this morning on the series, and discovered that I’ve never showcased the Zorro movies, despite the fact that there’s at least a dozen heart-stopping moments scattered across the two movies. I’ve written about the movies in different posts here and there, but not formally acknowledged some of the great moments in this series.
I always return to this moment because it seems to be a complete summation of Alejandro and Elena’s relationship. They’ve divorced (shocking for those days), she’s being courted by a French aristocrat, Count Armand, and Alejandro is not handling it well at all. When he challenges Armand, the count settles for polo, not pistols, and then, with Elena’s help, slaughters Alejandro in three face-offs.
As Alejandro dusts himself off, Elena demands he leave her and Armand alone. He studies her…and he knows. All his anger falls away, and he becomes calm and certain. “You don’t love him,” he says. “After ten years of marriage, you cannot hide the truth from me.” And he walks away.
Elena bows her head after he has gone, perhaps acknowledging what he has said.
It’s not what they call one of the “set-peices” of the movie — the big scenes where all the action and money is spent. But it’s a humdinger of a moment in terms of emotions and their relationship.
It’s one I remember the best, right up there with when Zorro is unmasked. [ooh, momma!]