Master and Commander – A War Movie Watchalong

Ever heard of a book readalong? Well, this is the first watchalong I have ever heard of and participated in. My good friend Caroline who had great success in doing War Readalong in her book blog, Sleeping is A Beautiful Cat, decided to hold this fun War Watchalong in her movie blog, All About War Movies.

I have seen Master and Commander years ago and barely remember the details, all I can remember is that it’s about ship and stars Russell Crowe. I didn’t know Paul Bettany back then.

Now that I have seen it again, I can at least write a brief summary of the movie:

The story set in 17th century when Napoleon had conquered Europe but England. Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) and his ship were suddenly ambushed by a French ship. The ship was far more sophisticated than his ship. Captain Aubrey had to hide his ship in the fog to escape the ambushed. He became obsess with that phantom ship, Acheron. He chased it across two oceans. Many things happened inside that ship. A superstitious about Jonah ran among the crew. To make things even more complicated, Aubrey was torn between his duty to England and his friendship with the ship Doctor, Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany). Maturin wanted to explore Galapagos while Aubrey wanted nothing but to chase the phantom ship.

This watchalong comes with some question, to know how I feel about the movie, here are my answer s to the questions.

1. How did you like the movie?

As I always do a rating on movies that I have watched, I would give Master and Commander , which mean I like it but not yet really like it. I enjoy watching it but it isn’t the kind of movie I will watch over and over again

2. Is Aubrey a good Captain?

Yes, I believe so. He was respected by his crew and had great discipline. He might had carried away with his emotion of not wanting to be defeated by anyone but in the end he managed to keep his balance between emotion and duty

3. Who is your favorite character and why?

Doctor Stephen Marutin. No!! It’s not because he was played by Paul Bettany. I have liked his character even before I knew Paul. I always have a thing for doctor in war or other smart character. A doctor in war is a unique character, he has to save people and yet at the same time he has to kill people to survive the war. Apart from being a doctor, Marutin was a passionate scientist. We can see clearly how his heart was broken when he had to leave one of the best islands to explore.

4. Cpt Aubrey and Dr Stephen Maturin, the surgeon are very different. How did you like their friendship?  Is it plausible?

I really like their friendship. They are nothing alike and that differences were the one that kept them glued together. Marutin was like Aubrey’s other conscience.

5. Aubrey and Maturin disagree on the responsibilities of a ship’s captain.  Who is right?

Although I like Marutin more than Aubrey, I had to say Aubrey was the right party. He made good always made good decision despite all the consequences.

6. What did you think of the way the French are depicted?

Okay, I guess. They don’t really say bad things about French which I think that’s a good point in war movie. Unlike most Vietnam War Movies that more often made the Vietcong less human then the American (That’s why I don’t watch much Vietnam War Movie).

7. What was more important – getting the enemy or collecting scientific samples?

I think both are important. They should get the enemy and once it was done, they could always come back and take those animals samples.

8. Was it ethical to disguise the Surprise as a civilian ship?

Yes, it’s ethical. It’s war and when someone is not strong enough then that someone has to use his brain. In this movie, Aubrey used his brain to come up with a great tactic.

9. Did you think the ending was satisfying?

Yes. I’d love to see the doctor went to the island again but I think by making that kind of ending, it gives an element of surprise…and you know how much I like unpredictable ending. It’s not like the movie has incredible mind blowing ending but I do like that bit of twist. It makes the French wasn’t all that stupid.


It was a good movie follows with fun watchalong event. I enjoy watching it and writing my answer. I hope to read good discussion over Caroline’s blog.

You can see the post about the questions here and the answer by Caroline here.

Have you watched Master and Commander? What do you think of the movie?
Feel free to answer those questions above in the comment 🙂

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