Sunday, December 17, 2006

Apocalypto

Mel Gibson is my favorite Hollywood actor, or rather he was. Last week a movie named Apocalypto was released in USA which was directed by Mel Gibson. Jack Mathews of New York Daily News had said,

“Mel Gibson is sicker than we thought.

As his new film "Apocalypto" makes clear, he's not just a drinker and a raving anti-Semite, but a man with a grotesque appetite for human suffering and an enormous talent for exploiting it.” (Read his review here)

But I believed too much in Gibson to believe it. So I went to see it today. This was the first time I went for a movie while in the states, so let me start with the good stuff.

AMC in the Alderwood mall is a complex of 16 theaters. They seem to screen the same movie in couple of theaters. The ticket was US$7.50, thrice the price of the most expensive theater in Sri Lanka, but was worth it. The seats were really comfortable and are placed so that even if an eight footer sat in front of you, your view would not even be slightly blocked. There is a nice cup holder in the seat so you wouldn’t be accidentally kicking the drinks. “Switch off your phones” message wasn’t a blurred text on the screen but and effective advertisement, where a director gives out the message, “My movies don’t disturb your calls, so don’ let your calls disturb my movie”. Every thing was nice until the movie started. And there were no breaks in between.

The first scene was a group men hunting down a wild boar. It was a brutal kill, but hey, they were hunters, so even though the scene was a bit disturbing I could handle it. (before proceeding, I can watch humans getting brutally killed in cold heart, but not animals), then the story revealed people butchering each other, cutting out the hearts from alive, chopping off heads, cold blooded throat cutting.... so much human butchering that the making men run and shooting arrows and spears at them was one of the most civilized scenes in the movie. I don’t know what Mel Gibson had in mind when he included scenes which humiliate a man for being impotent. I couldn’t stop the thought that the director enjoyed seeing people being tortured in such brutal manner. I was so happy when the movie was ended.

The story seems to say that great Mayan civilization is nothing but a bunch of butchers who enjoyed butchering each other alive. And the end was white men coming ashore with swords and crosses, as if to imply it’s the white man and their religion that brought true civilization to North America. Nothing against Christianity but why put Mayan civilization to such a disgraced status?

At the end, I couldn’t say any better than Jack Mathews. He knew better.