The Name of the Rose | Sunday Observer

The Name of the Rose

The film The Name of the Rose is directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Umberto Eco. The film stars Sean Connery as William of Baskerville, Christian Slater as Adso of Melk, Helmut Qualtinger as Remigio de Varagine, Elya Baskin as Severinus, Michael Lonsdale as The Abbot, Volker Prechtel as Malachia, Feodor Chaliapin, Jr. as Jorge de Burgos, William Hickey as Ubertino de Casale, Michael Habeck as Berengar and Urs Althaus as Venantius.

The Name of the Rose is set in Italy in the fourteenth century and begins with William and Adso’s journey to the Benedictine Abbey in Northern Italy. The plot revolves around the mysterious deaths of priests in this Benedictine Abbey and a Franciscan priest named William of Baskerville is consulted to solve the mystery. The protagonist of the film is William of Baskerville and this a direct allusion to Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. Also, William of Baskerville’s assistant, a trainee priest named Adso of Melk performs a function similar to that of Watson in the Sherlock Holmes novels and films.

Much of the mystery surrounds the library which has ancient manuscripts and many volumes of rare and valuable books. William uses methods of observation and deduction similar to that of Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery. Eco’s The Name of the Rose is a work of postmodern fiction which lends itself to an Intertextual study because of the numerous allusions to other texts in the novel. The film creates an atmosphere of intrigue and Sean Connery gives a very good performance as William of Baskerville.