Welcome to my newest film review of the month; which is Albert and Allen Hughes's (The Hughes Brothers) 'The Book of Eli' starring Denzel Washington in the leading role.
SPOILER ALERT!: As ever there is going to be spoilers, so if you haven't seen 'The Book of Eli' and you don't want it to be spoiled, then I would reconsider reading this review for the moment.
This film runs for approximately 118 minutes (1 hour and 58 minutes) so it's just under 2 hours.
This film was released back in 2010. It came to the USA's attention of the 11th of January 2010 and was released in the UK on the 15th of January 2010. I had the misfortune of missing this when it was released in the cinema's, and I would of liked to have gone and seen it, had I known it was on.
I had the satisfaction however to want to buy the DVD and watch it on my own by myself, and I'm very happy that I took the time with this film, you have to give it 100% up most of respects, it's not something you can skip through and expect it to make sense. you have to follow the plot carefully in order to understand truly what it's about.
First of All, it opens up in a wood, the lighting is very lubricant, you have these nice green colours to symbolise night time and you then cut to a deserted waist land for which has nothing, and symbolises nothing. it is then we meet 'Eli' (Denzel Washington) a traveller who when we first meet him is a mystery, we know nothing of him of who he his, where he came from to begin with so it is strange to start off with, all we know is he heading west without a reason as to why he's heading there.
The original storyline of 'Eli' entails a sense of place in a violent post-apocalyptic society, Eli, has been wandering westward across North America for the last thirty years. He has solace in a unique book which he carries on his person and guards closely and procily, whilst surviving by hunting small animals and seeking goods in destroyed houses and vehicles to trade in villages for water and supplies.
When he reaches a nearby town ruled by the powerful mobster, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the man views Eli's impressive fighting skills and offers Eli a place within his gang. Carnegie presses his blind lover Claudia to send her daughter, Solara (Mila Kunis), to at least convince Eli to spend the night by sleeping with her.
However, Eli proves to be the better man and a man of quick wit and intelligence when he gently declines her advances. It is then Solara stumbles upon Eli's book, and when Carnegie finds out threatens to beat her mother until Solara tells him what she saw and what her and Eli talked about in the room. Carnegie sends his gang into the wasteland to take the book from Eli, but the man proves to be a formidable foe as he makes it more than clear that if they want the book.
Solara then decides to accompany Eli on his quest; and they become partners and companions, and at the end of the film friends.
And for the majority of the film it becomes and unpleasant game of cat and mouse between Carnegie and Eli.
The Game is finished when Eli is believed to be dead when Carnegie shoots him down to the ground after retrieving what he thinks is the book and Solara is captured. but Eli fools him, Solara then escapes from the clutches of Carnegie and his men as she goes back to help a wounded Eli who has the strength of God on his side to complete his quest, and the whole point of the story was he was heading west to reach this refuge camp on an abandoned Island, and in the camp, they're recreating books and forming a Library.
It was Eli's mission to recreate the Bible and when he has done his job, God lets him rest and Eli dies from Carnegie's gun shot wound. and Solara decides to return home at the end of the film and you are left with her walking the desert wastelands on her own.
I have to say I was very impressed with how this was shot, and executed 'The Hughes brothers' did a great job at presenting their ideas, which is quite difficult in some aspects to do because there is two of them so sometimes one can have one idea on how to present something and the other one could disagree with that completely. so it was very well directed.
I really embraced the performances from Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman, the two of them made great Nemesis for each other. some of you may know Denzel Washington from other films such as 'The Taking of Pelham 123', 'Unstoppable' and 'Inside Man'. and others may know Gary Oldman form 'Tinker tailor soldier spy' and as Serious Black in the 'Harry Potter' films.
In Eli you have the Good guy, the one who we know is in the nicer position and will show care and kindness. and in Carnegie we have the exact opposite and you can tell that instantly in Gary Oldman's performance, in the rare occasions where he showed a dark side your truly believe it, and you embrace the character he plays with absolute seriousness.
I also though 'Mila Kunis' as Solara was really good, I wasn't to sure what she had in mind for this character but turns out I was worrying over nothing, she played it dead straight, which I approved of very much. I thought she had a great relation with the two leading characters to show that positive and negative effect and have that work out as well as it could of done.
In conclusion this is one of a films which had an emotional effect on me in the way I see the world. and it's those type of films I like to treasure and learn from as I progress to understand the world today.
This a film which you need to take your time through whilst watching as you need to understand the importance of it's messages in order to get the story and enjoy it.
I'm going to give 'The Book of Eli' an 8/10.
3 gold stars are awarded to Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis and Gary Oldman
2 Platinum stars go to 'The Hughes Brothers' for their amazing directing and Ideas.
Thank you for reading this review, I hope you have agreed with most of my points, if not tell me why because I'd be interested to hear people thoughts on this in the comments section below.
My next review is going to be 'Star Trek - Into Darkness' starring Chris Pine and Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by JJ Abrams
I will post that review on Wednesday the 15th of May 2013.