The Bounty (1984)
This fourth movie adaptation of history's most renowned mutiny is told mainly from the perspective of Captain Bligh, when he is being court-martialed in Portsmouth after having returned home. The filmmakers' idea is to paint a more balance picture of the power struggle between our protagonists Bligh and Fletcher Christian, in contrast to the traditional dichotomous portrait of Bligh as the villain and Christian as the hero (such as in Frank Lloyd's 1935 version and Lewis Milestone's 1962 adaptation). Vangelis' synthesizers and Dino De Laurentiis' lavish production effectively transports you simultaneously back to 1984 and the 18th century, and Australian director Roger Donaldson, who took over from David Lean at some point during a long-winded development phase, has good command over the seafarer action and the many characters involved here. He creates a solid foundation for Anthony Hopkins to exercise his powerful, nuanced performance as Lt. William Bligh. A performance which propels The Bounty forward and elevates Mel Gibson's sometimes wild eyed acting. There is, however, a wonderful sensuality to Gibson's interplay with Tevaite Vernette as his Tahitian girlfriend Mauatua. And when the stiffish Britons are invited into a world of unrestrained carnality, the film convincingly taps into the essence of what arguably instigated the mutiny itself.