Friday, March 19, 2010

Post-Apocalyptic Faith Fuels Denzel in the Book of Eli

The Hughes Brothers' "Book of Eli" is a post-apocalyptic tale like no other. The world has become a dry and dusty wasteland where water has become a rationed commodity, and the seat of power belongs to the few gun-toting landlords and their minions. In the film, a wandering man Eli (Denzel Washington) heads west of the wasteland that's now the United States with the sole intention of delivering a special book - the Bible! But the sneaky Redridge (Gary Oldman) is hot on Eli's heels so he can get his paws on the "book" - the last of its kind in the world. He says, "Soon, people from all around will come to seek counsel."

With the help of a spirited girl Solara (Mila Kunis), Eli travels across America - on foot! - to deliver the book to a fortress - where humanity is planning to rebuild everything from scratch!

Though the idea of this story sounds epic, the narrative structure is rather weak. And if you start this in the middle of the movie, you would think this was a western - with cowboy bars and tough talking hoods, etc. This is not how I envision a post-apocalyptic world! Production design is rather uninspired!

Hollywood seems to have gone religious. "Legion" directly talked about God, "The Book of Eli" centered on protecting the bible. What's next, Moses in Beverly Hills?

"Everything's in my head," remarks Eli.

Denzel Washington

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