Eugen Sandow (Timo Kervinen) was a German bodybuilder. He is responsible for the development of a lot of modern day exercise techniques and equipment. His Institutes of Physical Culture were the basis of the modern gym, where members of the public were taught methods of exercise, weight training and diet. He even wrote a series of books in which the phrase 'bodybuilding' was coined. And it's for this reason he is known as the "father of modern bodybuilding". This is the story of the man, told from the point of view of his protégé, Launceston Elliot (Alexander Cooper).
In this biopic, Writer/Director Alexander Cooper charts the rise and fall of this legendary athlete. From his humble beginnings performing in circuses and strongmen competitions, to his time working with Florenz Ziegfeld (Olivier Maigniez) touring the world and the adultery and money troubles that would plague him in later life.
Kervinen does a great job of bringing this complicated character to life. Sandow may have been the living embodiment of what he called "The Grecian Ideal", closely resembling classic Greek and Roman statues, but he was far from perfect. And this is exactly how Kervinen plays him, a flawed man - much like any other - who struggled with his own vanity. The same vanity that is believed to have cost him everything.
Sandow is a perfect example of British Indie film. Beautifully shot in gorgeous locations around England and featuring a talented cast, Cooper and his crew cleverly recreate a turn of the century world. The moustaches aren't half bad either! But what makes this movie great is that they haven't shied away from the fact that for all his strengths (pardon the pun), the man wasn't perfect.
Sandow is currently available to view on Vimeo and Amazon Prime Video.
Click here for the Official Website.
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