Monday, July 12, 2010
The Book of Eli
The Book of Eli takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in the near future. It is not your typical Mad Max movie. Lately, we have had a rash of end-of-the-world films such as 2012 and Knowing. Some people believe that with the approaching end of the Mayan calendar in December of 2012 that catastrophic events will occur on earth.
The Book of Eli obviously plays on our fears of the unknown and of a possible bleak future. But this film not only portrays the future as a desolate wasteland but offers hope of a new tomorrow based on God’s everlasting truth. The film is a classic example of a Christian movie that is not a “Christian” movie. There is no doubt that The Book of Eli offers a Christian message, but it does it in an authentic, honest and truthful manner.
The basic story goes something like this: Denzel Washington plays the role of Eli, a mysterious stranger who wanders the desolate highways of a post-apocalyptic world. He must fight off blood-thirsty gangs in a lawless civilization as he is on a quest to protect a mysterious book as he moves westward. Gary Oldman plays the role of the antagonist, Carnegie, who is bent on possessing the book for his own purposes. He tells Eli, “I grew up with it. I know its power, and if you read it so do you.” Apparently our world has gone through some type of war and there is a hole in the atmosphere. The surviving people are fighting for the little remaining resources. They blamed religion for the war and have destroyed every Bible except one. Eli has the last surviving Bible on the face of the earth. He is on a God-given quest, a journey of faith. He has been given the mission to protect the Word of God and bring it to a place of safety where it once again can be printed.
In several interviews, Denzel Washington, who is a committed Christian, said he had a substantial hand in tweaking the script, and it shows in the end result. The core message of this film is God is in control. Even if the world is in total chaos, God’s word will go forward and replicate. Mila Kunis plays Solara, the daughter of Carnegie, who actually becomes the first convert and carries on Eli’s mission.
Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman do an outstanding job in their roles. Washington may be the best actor in his generation, and Oldman may be the best character actor we have seen in a long time. Every element in this film is outstanding. The cinematography is breathtaking considering they are portraying an apocalyptic world. Every shot is well constructed and has a purpose. The music score is haunting and, quite frankly, hypnotic.
If you are looking for a movie about something, especially something important, you will do no better than seeing The Book of Eli. It is a film that you will not forget. I am personally convinced that we need movies that make us think about the things that are really important. The Book of Eli does this and more. You can find it on DVD and Blu-ray disc. This is one journey worth taking.