Jonathan Rhys Meyers steps into the shoes of Sir James Brooke in the latest historical epic, Edge of the World. The real-life version of Sir James Brooke is thought to have been one of the inspirations for Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King. Brooke was an adventurer who fought against pirates and slavery and became a ruler of his own kingdom in Borneo as King of Sarawak. Edge of the World joins Brooke as he arrives onto Borneo’s sandy shores and recounts his story across the years from explorer to leader to his eventual end.
Director Michael Haussman has spent most of the last thirty years working in the medium of music videos. He’s responsible for Madonna’s Take a Bow, and Justin Timberlake’s Sexyback to name just two from his catalogue. A lot of film directors make the jump from music videos to features, but where many try to maintain that same edgy and frenetic energy found within them, Haussman has gone a different route. Edge of the World is a thoughtfully-paced drama that lavishly takes its time telling the story, allowing the audience to marinate in the era. By spending so much time focused on the feeling of the time, Haussman manages to capture the spirit, beauty, and underlying danger of the film’s jungle setting wonderfully. The job is so thorough that you can almost feel the oppressive heat and mugginess pouring off the screen.