Stardust, directed by Matthew Vaughn, is a fantasy/adventure film based on the eponymous novel by Neil Gaiman. Although products related to this genre are very often treated with suspicion by “serious” audience who generally consider them to be entertainment for kids, but Stardust presents a rather different and interesting perspective of the trend, effectively destroying the stereotype.
The matter is, while being set in a fantasy universe (although it borders our own) and making use of general genre’s clichés (evil witches, three princes sent on a quest to decide which of them is going to be the King, the development of the main character from a humble salesman into a hero), Stardust touches upon a number of quite adult themes and uses the stylistic devices and imagery that is not very often associated with children films. There is quite a lot of violent and sexual implications, most of the humor (there is a lot of it) is noticeably black, sometimes even morbid; however, as surprising as it may be, the general impression produced by it is that of optimism and light-heartedness.
The presence of such famous actors as Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert de Niro (although their roles are not the major ones) make the screenplay even more interesting, for it is always nice to see the work of masters, even if their screen time is not particularly long.
All in all, Stardust may be called a very successful screen version of a very successful book, a clever depiction of topics, unusual for the light fantasy setting, properly flavored by excellent acting of both well-known support actors and rather obscure major ones.