Thursday, February 25, 2010


This is super fresh, like fresh from the oven fresh.
I've just came home from watching "The Book of Eli" and now here I am penning about it.
First of all, thanks Jessie Ong for informing me about the free tickets giveaway!!! Super cool!
Had loads of fun hanging out.

Okay so back to the movie.
"The Book of Eli" stars Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman.

First of all, let me just say this. I just COULD NOT RECOGNIZE GARY OLDMAN! It was not until the credit did I remember that he is actually in the movie. For those of you clueless about who Gary Oldman is, let me shine some light. All Harry Potter fans, he is Sirius Black. Yes, the kind god-father of the Potter boy. With beard and all...Gary Oldman is Sirius Black. If you are a Batman fan, well, you might know Gary Oldman as the righteous, non-corrupted Sgt. Gordon, who signals for Batman's help. If you still have no idea who he is, just Wikipedia him and see if you happen to watch any of his movies haha.

The multi-faceted Gary Oldman
When he was Black, like "Sirius"-ly Black in Harry Potter

Then he became Sergeant in Batman 

And look at him here...
I just can't see it's him, without the beard and all.

Anyway, excellent performance by Denzel Washington and extra credit to Oldman for being indistinguishable. I mean, for an actor to be so camouflaged proves his diversity in playing different characters - another brilliant example of such actor --> Johnny Depp.

The movie started off slow paced. Something like "I Am Legend". In fact, very much alike "I Am Legend". Because of such a deliberate beginning, one might find the beginning draggy. But then again, bear in mind that this is one type of directing style. Very much like "I Am Legend", "The Book of Eli" sets the mood through a mixture of dark gloomy-greyish-brownish colour tone which indicates the barren, parched and arid atmosphere when the world is somewhat destroyed by an apocalyptic event.

Denzel Washington plays Eli in the movie - a man who is determined to send a book to the West. This book is not just any other book, it is the Holy Bible. Due to the destruction of Earth 30 years ago, all copies of the Bible were destroyed, all except for one and it's in the hands of Eli. Eli had walked since he found the only copy 30 years ago, heading West, with the voice of God as guidance. On his way he met different people of course, especially hijackers who bully innocent people on the road.

Our 2-hour motion picture brings us to the part where he bumps into Carnegie, who has been searching high and low for the Bible, in which he plans to use it as a weapon to control the human race. No doubt, religion is powerful. As much as Eli tries to stay away from trouble and focus on his mission, sometimes, he just can't. We witnessed then Eli's adventures in protecting the book "The Book of Eli" which literally means the book of God and how our director depicts a world that has been destroyed by disastrous cosmic event. Great to see people practising the barter system. Interesting to find that people there don't read and treat people who read books as practically of higher rank.

In the movie, Eli talked about how we once had more than we needed, and that after such a disaster, people would kill for the simplest things. The messages are clear. We need to treasure the things we have. Additionally, the movie is illustrating the lives of people who are in the midst of war, or struck by any natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. They fight for survival, just like the characters in the film. Food and water are necessities that they would die for and give their most prized possessions for, and we take water for granted. It is a reminder of how lucky we are compared to those suffering from such adversities. 

Though the presentation of the storyline is relatively slow, I love how the director brings in the fast motions in action scenes. Super cool, especially during the scenes in which Denzel Washington a.k.a. Eli kills with his sword. Okay it is super violent to say this, but the swift movements of his sword gliding through heads, beheading his enemies is so nice to watch from an artistic standpoint. I'm not condoning violence but hell, those were awesome moves. I'm turning into a devil because I actually laugh at such violence because I'm amazed at those scenes. WTH...

Another part of the movie that is brilliant is the firing scene involving a house, Eli, Solara, an old man and an old lady. I love how the camera uses a point of view shot of the missile or bullet (whatever that is) manoeuvring its way towards the house. The panning of the camera in that scene is just brilliant; it's like you are there...and seriously, you don't need 3D to feel that in that particular scene. (A bit exaggerated?? I don't know but the scene is cool.)

Also, do expect a brilliant twist in this film. I read that the movie is creative and after watching it, I second that opinion. I mean, it does have an interesting twist that leaves one going, OMG! So, the twist made the movie a memorable one. I'm going to leave out the twist, in case you want to watch it, I want to keep it a surprise haha. It's pretty cool really. 

I also love what Eli says, "I've been holding on to it for so long, trying to protect it, that I forgot to live by what the book preaches" (Something like that, forgive me if I can't quote exactly okay because I don't have a didactic memory ;P...). Eli has been so focused on delivering the book to the West that he stayed out of trouble, and that means, not helping people when he knows he should just so he won't get involved in any chaotic fights (though he can't help it sometimes). I guess it happens to us sometimes; we held on to something for so long that we kinda forgot what we were fighting for anymore. Oh well...that's just life. And there are times, God sends someone to help us remember our purpose in life and sets us on the right path again I guess. 

Then there are the negatives. It is pretty obvious that this movie has religious influences in it...hitting you right in the face, it is about Christianity and the theme of faith that comes with every religion. I'm not a very religious person to be honest, though I am proud to say that I respect the most of the teachings of Buddha. I do believe in God(s), and so I'm not Christian or Muslim because I don't believe in one God (but who knows in future?). But right now, since I've been reading too much of Dan Brown's books, I'm really swayed into agreeing with a lot of his rationale when it comes to his debates on religion and faith. Coincidentally or I guess intentionally, there was a scene showing the book "The Da Vinci Code" in the movie, as if mischievously presenting an irony to what the film is about.

The best is of course to have a balance of spiritual and rational beliefs I guess and that's why I love Dan Brown. He writes from both side of the story - the religious perspective and the rational & scientific perspective, offering readers something to ponder and weigh when it comes to beliefs and faith. But please, I'm not saying that having faith and believing in religion is a bad I do not mean that because if there's one thing I believe in, it is faith. Faith is very important. But we just need to be wise about it. 

Anyway, I'm not alone when I say this, many just don't like the cliche 'have-faith-in-God-because-in-the-end-God-will-save-the-world' movies you know...I was in this movie forum and many questioned the irony of the Bible saving the world because if God is powerful, why destroy what he created in the first place. Forgive me, but I'm one of those ignorant ones who do not get the "Last Judgement" or "Day of Judgement". If anyone care to explain, I'd definitely like to know and of course, I'm Wikipedia-ing it too haha. Arguably, God is testing us with trials and tribulations, thus, all those disasters and hardships could be just road bumps that make us stronger. At the end of the day, He is always there to show us the way and we just need to have faith. But the ultimate question is, where do we draw the line between faith and complete stupidity (excuse my rather direct language)? I mean, you don't get seriously sick and just have faith that God will heal you without taking any actions, right? You do need to seek medical help too. That's when wisdom comes in, and that is the main thing that Buddha preach and have been constantly planted into my mind by my wise dad. So like I pointed out before, as important as faith is, wisdom is above it all.

So, "The Book of Eli" could be utter rubbish to some who are anti-religion (maybe too harshly put) or those who are not that religious. But for someone who is on-the-fence when it comes to religion, like me and my friends, I guess it wasn't that bad a movie. Though one of me pal pointed out that this movie will be loved by those super religious folks because of the reference to the bible, I believe that for a normal movie-goer like us, we tend to disregard the religious message but focus on the action. But then again, one cannot deny the obvious religious elements in the movie. Duh...the movie title is "the book of God". I believe that if you are a Christian, devoted to reading the Bible, you'll be able to provide an even deeper and more interesting in-sight to the movie. Sadly, I can't because I don't read the Bible. But feel free to enlighten me =).

My conclusion is, watch this movie in the cinema. You need to be patient to enjoy the movie. There are some pretty awesome fight scenes though generally, the movie travels a slow pace. Nonetheless, not a bad effort because it has cool combats and a creative end to an otherwise trite movie. But one thing though, perhaps not Denzel Washington's best movie, though his acting is unquestionably up to standards. 

TC-My Rating:

Up next, Shutter Island starring my man, Leo DiCaprio, another brilliant actor!! Can't wait to see his awesomeness!~

With Lotsa Love,
Ps: I started of pronouncing Eli as "A-Lie" until I found out that the right pronunciation is "E-lie". '=.= Guess it makes sense that one can't read the Hebrew word for God as "A-lie"...

1 comment:

In-Sight MY-Movie

"I love movies for its subjectivity. A movie is debatable. A single scene can mean a million things and the fun part is talking about them."