Most travels change the traveler. This trip changed the world. Had Alexander of Macedonia not gone East, a Jew named Joshua wouldn't be known by the Greek translation Jesus and many ancient classics preserved in Alexandria's library wouldn't be known at all.
The movie Alexander accomplishes two things exceptionally. First, it gives a real sense of the scope and audacity of this epic journey of conquest. Second, it profoundly illuminates the influence parental ambitions can have on an offspring's achievements and obsessions. Yet, the film sheds no light on two inscrutable mysteries:
1) Why does Irish stud Colin Farrell dye his hair trailer-trash blond to portray a Greek? (Disclaimer: I adore trailer trash blondes and wish to thank all those who've offered me a donut, beer and cigarettes for breakfast while reminding me how I ended up sleeping on their sofas.)
2) If Oliver Stone so admires Alexander for killing, raping and empire-building in Asia, why does he so despise the U.S. military for alleged smaller-scale incidents of the same? Still, looking at this photo of the brown sugar Alex picked up as a travel souvenir, one can almost justify whatever he had to do to get to whichever never-heard-of-that-khstan she was from.
My response to this woman of color (and no doubt aroma and flavor): "I have seen her mountain tops and I wanna go to her promised land!" Plus, imagine the cross-cultural sharing and mutual understanding had by all when Alexander brought this juicy-yet-lean dark meat back to the trailer park bar-b-que.
Despite Hollywood silliness, Alexander is a philosophical experience no lover of historical travel should miss. In addition, this tale clearly reminds us that might doesn't make right but often decides who's left. Of course, Alexander wasn't left, because he died from malaria-like symptoms. Strangely, his travels also seem to have given me a case of jungle fever.