Sunday, January 27, 2008

MOVIE: Apocalypto

The good: Visually the movie is vibrant and awe-inspiring. The colors. The textures. Almost over-powering at times. Yet embracing a pure, unashamed simplicity that comes through in very few movies. It certainly achieved its goal of capturing the look and feel of the Mayan civilization. Equally impressive was the acting and the direction. It was completely enthralling and I'm saddened that I couldn't have seen it on The Big Screen and listened to it Digital Dolby Surround Sound.

The bad: The violence matches the vibrance of the film. It's as brutal as it is beautiful. And I can't stress that enough. It's every bit as painful to watch the non-stop trials of the protagonist Jaguar Paw as it was to watch Jesus' back being flayed off in The Passion Of The Christ. I get it. I do. Primitive civilizations were unimaginably cruel and inhumane. However knowing it and seeing it are two very different creatures. I could have lived without being exposed to the graphic horrors of Mayan spiritual practices.

Equally annoying is Mel Gibson's inability to escape the confines of Braveheart. He keeps telling the same story, but in different times and different languages/accents. We've got the same theme spanning Braveheart, The Patriot, and now Apocalypto. However this time he brings women and children into the excessive circle of violence.

Final verdict: I shouldn't let my being a wuss impede my enjoyment of a fine production. It is a dramatic, thought-provoking movie of epic proportions and intent. I'm glad I stuck with it. And I'd recommend it.

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