Saturday, January 16, 2010

"The Book of Eli" (2010) - Movie Review

Keeping aside the faith and believe of “The Book of Eli” aside, it gets you through. But are we beginning to settle low? I am not. Another post apocalyptic tale where humans have no chance other than to turn ugly savages and hunt each other like animals. It is a different reset button to the humanity wherein people becomes this dangerous untrustworthy people. They never learn from the cruelty that first brought them to that place. This is not cave man we are talking but the disaster generation failing to improvise on the left over modernized and high technology world to find some better platform to begin a start over. But “The Book of Eli” is not there to preach about the reason but the holy lord himself.

Denzel Washington is the silent man again with the tired but strong as an ox look. He travels around to and get to the west of country. The land is ruined, the sun is black and it is the dreadful post apocalypse. Nothing to smile about. No IT jobs, no problem with the computer, no McDonalds and every one is scavenging for everything. In comes the lonely man with a first generation iPod and cool shades, the nameless (of course he will be Eli). He is dangerous and deadly. Do not mess with him and he WILL kill you without mercy.

The “good” book is his master and he is journeying towards the West. He chose that because his inner voice said so and a book found by the same leads his path. As his thirty years have been boring walking around escaping road looters and plain fields, he comes to a town to charge up his battery for the only entertainment he gets to have. While going to the local bar, he of course gets into a fight to emerge victorious which gets the attention of the proclaimed villainous leader Carnegie (Gary Oldman). The man is looking for the very same book Eli is carrying around as his destiny. No further explanation and the fight, chase and the teaching of disciple as Mila Kunis as Solara finishes the film.

Carnegie believes that the goodness in this wretched society would be cleaned and develop a far more expansive township under his command through the preaching of the book Eli holds. Eli on the other hand has one purpose and that is to reach across the coast and deliver it to a place he has no idea of. Both of them commits more than sin and atrocities far more unimaginable. Eli at least does it so for his protection but does it with a sense of passion. Of course it appears so because the Hughes Brothers shot it so cool. With the right camera angle and fast stunt movements, the action is an artful dancing how much ever bloody it gets. Somehow the talented directors make it so or they know the appetite for violence of this generation deep inside them.

What lacks in “The Book of Eli” are the people. Their motivation does not seem documented in the script and in the world of deadly people, traps and scarcity of food is the exploration of humanity. And that does not mean the goodness or the sappy melodrama but the concept of faith and the belief Eli has which many would refuge for should turn into something else. The subtle clever revealing in the ending is a genuine twist with nothing to look forward though.

In the film making business long before every one has preferred the methodology to give an entertainer. Either it is exploitative or unrelentingly dramatic, the process has improved and refined over the years. When a studio signs up on scripts like these, the dollar eyes on the executives would pop up further more. The skill has been perfected and with millions been poured into the films, “The Book of Eli” gets the treatment it wants. But you have to credit the creators for putting those images properly and in appreciation.

Along with that though comes the unexplained modern suave costumes. Every one gets a cool shade, rugged clothes to suit them fair and clean and every one is a sharp shooter. The usual blunder by the villain to shoot his nemesis and not finish him is icing to the cake. But then add further silliness to the miracle is Eli being the unstoppable force, he can take that bullet on the bare chest and walk like a champ. Coming to the first line of this review, “The Book of Eli” might get you through but have we settled to sit through a movie as an ordeal than rejoice?

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