Discussion: The Codice Genesi›
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original title: The Book of Eli
duration: 1h 58min
tags: Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.
keywords: blind, blindness, postapocalypse, book, water, 2040s, cannibal, shampoo, wearingsunglassesinside, sanfranciscobay, illiteracy, cannibalism, braille, shotintheleg, religion, christian, christianity, bi
The basic premise of the film is a bit obnoxious. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase Bible Basher. The end of the film is the weakest. It will annoy most that it is deemed more important that a Bible survive than the printing press that has to reprint it. Any half witted twit would see that the survival of a printing press is more important that any particular book. All in all a mixed message from the film. It is more b-movie slock than blockbuster and more propaganda than art house. So you could call it b-movie propaganda and you might not be too far off. Although not a great film it does have a well presented general atmosphere and for that I give it a 6. I dislike the Christian basis personally so I take away 2 for obnoxious plot. Overall I give it a 4. This film postulates a post-apocalyptic society where the survivors have become conscience-less killers solely bent on survival. This new society is illiterate (except for the characters payed by British actors, for some mysterious reason). A wanderer through it (Denzel Washington) holds on to the last copy of the Bible, which he uses for his personal moral betterment. All such books were understandably burned by the survivors because the nuclear holocaust itself was caused by a war of religions. A local evil crime-boss (Gary Oldman) wants to get hold of a copy of the Good Book at all cost, because he sees in it the best way to further enslave and exploit the desperate, the poor and the ignorant he longs to control. God knows it's worked before
The problem with this film is that it is itself the product of a post-literate society. Every element of the script has been borrowed – not from books or novels – but from other films and even comic books too numerous to mention. Its art direction, like that of countless other recent productions, is entirely derived from the comics of French artist Jean Giraud, creator of the "Lieutenant Blueberry" series. Every plot point is conceived in visual terms, i.e. how it will look on the screen. This logic leads to multiple scenes of violent carnage (often perpetrated by the "Christian" hero) with machetes, guns, axes, crowbars, chain-saws and explosives, like any other B-grade action or horror film, or, more precisely, like any post-apocalyptic-themed video game offering an extreme violence content. "The Book of Eli" is actually just another comic book for Americans who are too illiterate to read a comic book.
The cinematography uses filter manipulations that make it veer into a blue-green nightmare (like countless other recent productions) verging towards monochromatic ochre through much of its running time and finally giving us a glimpse of colour towards the end. This happens to be the cheapest way to give a film's art direction unity (not to mention making your movie look like it was directly lifted from the pages of graphic novel). I insist on noting here that when Jean-Pierre Jeunet used colour manipulation in a film like "Amélie" (2001), he did it in a playful and whimsical manner, an attitude that is miles removed from that of the makers.
Its "music", except for a few final bars borrowed from the religious repertoire, is really electronically manipulated noise putting the accent on the lowest, stomach-churning frequencies the human ear can endure. This is known as "fear music", the kind that plays round the clock on the History channel (the "H" stands for "hignorance") during its never-ending post-apocalyptic-themed pseudo-documentaries.
The film itself lacks logic in many ways. Questions such as "How did Eli survive the gunshot?", "Where do the thugs get their gas?", "Doesn't the most compact Braille version of the King James Bible come in 17 over-sized and unwieldy volumes?", "Given the film is made by morons for morons, isn't is safe to suppose that an awful lot of them will assume that Eli is himself blind if he carries a Braille Bible (even if he is never seen actually reading from it)?", "Why does the final printed Bible come with footnotes?" and "Why should Denzel Washington entrust his career to such a gimmicky premise?" are never answered. The film also overstays its welcome by a good thirty minutes during which it has ample time to choke on its own sanctimonious pretensions and doubly underline the painfully obvious. This is sad because its cast includes many fine actors chosen either for their talent (Washinton, Oldman, Frances de la Tour, Michael Gambon, Tom Waits), their photogenic qualities (Mila Kunis) or their resemblance to comic book characters (Ray Stevenson, Evan Jones and a host of other murderous thugs).
The script is so badly written, more than one interpretation of Elis' "blindness" is possible, namely (among many others):
(1) Eli has been blinded by the flash but has miraculously learned to read the miraculously-compacted Braille book he miraculously found and miraculously can go through all the motions of a seeing person, like miraculously hunting a cat and miraculously feeding a mouse; (2) Eli is not blind, has never learned how to read Braille or any other language (he is illiterate, like the writers) and he is totally guided by faith, having learned the Bible by heart through either his "voice" or a mentor; (3) Eli is blind but can see during the main part of the film, from the moment he wakes up in the cabin until his eyes "glaze over" (according to some) towards the end; (4) Denzel Washington is himself blind. He had to blindly rely on his agent to commit to this disastrous project and never really read the script.
Any film whose moral seems to be: "See, boys and girls, if you believe hard enough in the Bible, you too will be able to kick ass and decapitate bad guys on sight with a machete, just like a real blind Ninja in a real video game or a real Muslim terrorist in a real life situation" deserves nothing but contempt.
In a society where films like this one have become the main form of entertainment, it is to be expected that people will indeed become illiterate, blind, deaf, dumb, leprous, conscience-less and murderous. No nuclear holocaust needed.
The fact that the book which caused all this mayhem survives at the end is by far the most chilling aspect of this film. It makes you wonder what happened to the comic books... Its over-the-top violence is cartoonish at times, menacing at others - which is a good thing. And truly, if one must wander a barren, post-apocalyptic landscape with somebody, who better to wander with than Denzel Washington? Alternatively, several scenes hint that Redridge may be a reluctant killer in a brutal world, hiding a good heart beneath a normally uncompromising exterior and that he found himself unable to kill Eli without flinching at the last second and missing. It isn't stated but it's implied he died from his gunshot wound. He was shot in the gut and if he didn't receive proper medical care, he would have died slowly, but definitely would have died eventually. His condition must have worsened while Solara was driving him to San Francisco and he must have been beyond the help that the Alcatraz people could have given him. In the Bible, the high priest Eli was blind, and some might say that there are several scenes which may indicate that in the movie Eli was blind or at least partially blind: when hunting the cat, for example, he was sitting in a position where it didn't seem like he could actually see his target at all; when George says to them, "No trespassing, didn't you see the sign?", Eli says, "Sorry, I didn't see it"; says to Solara, "I walk by faith, not by sight"; in one scene, Eli walks to the edge of an overpass that has a piece missing in the middle, unlike a sighted person who would have realized it was impassable and found a different way around; the Bible, of course, was in Braille; he appears to have a heightened sense of smell; and perhaps most significantly, at the end, when he starts quoting the Bible, the camera moves in slowly towards his face, zooms in on his eyes and we see that his eyes are slightly "clouded over" (This was more evident in the theatrical run of the movie on the big screen).
On the flip-side, Eli seems to function far too much like someone who can see, being able to shoot a bird out of the sky with a bow and arrow, being able to take on half a dozen people at once in a brawl, being able to pick off people from 50 yards away with a pistol and so on. He also sees Martha's (the cannibal woman) hands shaking and suggests he and Solara leave immediately (though he could have just heard the cup and saucer rattling in her hands). So he's either fully sighted, or perhaps he can see things farther away but not up close, hence his need to read in Braille. So the possibilities are as follow: Eli is blind and if so, he either trained himself to be able to travel, hunt, shoot, etc. like a sighted person would, or perhaps God is guiding his every move, as Eli says, "I know I wouldn't have made it this far without help"; Eli is partially blind; or he is fully sighted and anything to suggest otherwise is just a coincidence. He arrives back at his base with the Bible, when he finally gets it opened, he is mortified to find out that it is printed in braille. He tries to compel Claudia to read it for him but she states that she doesn't remember how to read braille. She then reveals to him that she could smell his wounded leg and that it was turning gangrenous, he wouldn't live too much longer and also, Carnegie lost all but two or three men in pursuit of Eli and so the townspeople took over. So Carnegie lost everything, and that would soon include his life for nothing. Throughout history, there have been many people who have started wars or genocides and so on by overall exploiting people's superstitions (hence "organized superstition") and thereby claiming they were doing God's work. These exploiters would bend and twist the words of the Bible or other scriptures to their benefit and rallying people to their cause. Carnegie was planning on doing something similar, not necessarily starting wars, but convincing people to join his cause, getting everybody to do what he said by convincing them he was a prophet—as most of the people in the post-apocalyptic era (those under age 30) had never heard of the Bible, or of God, afterlife, heaven, hell, purgatory, genesis, doomsday, messiah, prophet, angels, Satan or any concept in/of religion. https://theocalwapu.cf/eoc/The-best-download-websites-for-the-movies-Pound-of-Flesh-by--QHD-.html https://wordkonliaza.gq/rdk/English-movies-sites-to-watch-free-By-the-World-Forgot-none--4k-.html https://connonore.gq/nno/Good-websites-for-movie-downloads-De-kribbebijter-Netherlands--720x320-.html https://sentlanessra.gq/ntl/Downloadable-movie-sites-for-free-Cat-Fight-at-OK-and-Corral-by--1920x1280-.html https://migtiocebus.cf/gti/Hram-Svetog-Save-Yugoslavia.html http://webtecusa.ddns.net/p928.html