Thursday, March 22, 2007

Apocalypto:I watched it twice

Well….this is not for Rajshree , K Jo & Yashraj fans . I’m sure most of the criticism have come from that front . It is for the ones who loved Kill Bill , adored Saw & went gaga over Sincity . Also those who are allergic to subtitles should stay away as the entire movie is in Yucatec Mayan . Credit goes to Mel Gibson who before this has done an equally gory Passion of Christ in Aramaic to maintain authenticity .

To start with , let me give you a small summary .There is a small Mayan village in the midst of dense Yucatan forests dwelled by Jaguars & Tapirs . They spend their life happily hunting in the jungle & expects the same to continue till eternity . But soon the tragedy strikes , a pack of warriors suddenly attacks the village , massacres half of them & imprisons the rest after a bloody ambush . Then begins a fatal & painful journey & finally they arrive in a huge Mayan city . There they finally discover the reason of their imprisonment . They were about to be sacrificed to quench the thirst of the great God Kukulkan to save the decaying civilization threatened by plague and other epidemics . The events unfold quickly after this , the hero of the story , Jaguar Paw , escapes from the tyrants & then begins a relentless & breathtaking chase through the treacherous Yucatan terrains full of jungles , marshes , waterfalls .
I won’t disclose the climax , but I can assure you that it is nail biting & engrossing . Coming back to the qualitative aspects of the movie, it is a trademark Mel Gibson flick with plenty of action & bloodshed . But as an accomplished filmmaker he never lets the story to be overshadowed by action . The sets , costumes & makeup etc are very authentically done . The medieval chase sequence with robust men running barefoot will beat any modern one involving cars & aircrafts . The background music is haunting & has an Indian touch . The crude humours , specially the one involving Tapir balls complement the dark mood of the movie well . The new actors namely Rudy Youngblood as Jaguar Paw & the beautiful Dalia Hernandez as his wife have done a commendable job .

Having said all these , the movie has also had its share of controversies like any other Gibson film . Specially distortion of Native American history & depiction of Mayans as a brutal & pervert tribe has raised concerns . Because the kind of human sacrifice it has shown , is more close to the Aztecs than the Mayans . Also it shows Spanish conquistadors arriving at the end as if they were angels of peace . But the fact is that the Columbus’s , Pizzaros & Cortezes were no less brutal . They utilized their advantage of having guns & annihilated all the Indian Civilizations namely Mayan , Aztec & Incas .

So this is where the film falters a bit . But I will still give it four out of five as reconstructing a civilization that was lost 500 years ago is no child’s play . I watched it twice in the multiplex & would advice you to do the same .