• Publication date: August 15, 2009

The center of a fierce pursuit of freedom is full of risks The Courage to Do The Impossible Lies in The Hearts of Men

"Master and Commander" is set during the Napoleonic Wars, as a British frigate, HMS Surprise, and a much larger French warship, the Acheron, with greater fire power, stalk each other off of the coast of South America.

"Master and Commander" is set during the Napoleonic Wars, as a British frigate, HMS Surprise, and a much larger French warship, the Acheron, with greater fire power, stalk each other off of the coast of South America.

Russell Crowe brings great intensity to the role of Captain Jack Aubrey. Lucky Jack, as he is referred to by his crew, is well regarded by his men, who trust him implicitly, even after the first devastating battle and an apparent personal vendetta against the French captain.

Paul Bettany offers a strong performance as the surgeon and naturalist who balances the violence of his chosen life with the quiet demeanor of the scientist. He is the captain's friend and confidant, the two frequently playing violin and cello duets together.

After conquering much of Europe already, Napoleon's forces set their sights on taking Britain, so Aubrey and his crew take to the Pacific to intercept any attacking ships from the French fleet. When Aubrey eyes a renegade French super-frigate, the Surprise pursues, leading to an adrenaline-charged chase through the distant reaches of the sea.

While the naval battle sequences are quite fantastic, the film is successful because director Weir chooses to build the story to get to know the men who are locked aboard the tight quarters of a small ship and how they interact everyday.

The officers and the mates are well-known by the time the final battle comes. The horrors of the injuries from the war are frequently implied, but vividly depicted in the reactions of the characters.

Premiered in US theatres in 2003, "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" is a film that combines the elements of action, adventure, drama and war. The movie is adapted from three novels in the Aubrey�Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, and screenplayed and directed by Peter Weir.

The film, the runtime of which is 138 minutes, stars Russell Crowe as Capt. Jack Aubrey, Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin, James D'Arcy as 1st Lt. Tom Pullings, Edward Woodall as 2nd Lt. William Mowett, Chris Larkin as Capt. Howard, Max Pirkis as Blakeney, Jack Randall as Boyle, Max Benitz as Calamy, and Lee Ingleby as Hollom.

The movie is rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, related images, and brief language.

"Master and Commander" won two Academy Awards for Best cinematography (Russell Boyd) and Best Sound Effects Editing (Richard King), and ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films.

With a production budget of US$ 150 millions, the film's worldwide box office revenues amounted to US$ 210 millions.