Thursday, January 04, 2007

Flick of O’six : 'Apocalypto'

Besides “Boyz on the Hood” and “My Fair Lady”, I have little interest in watching a movie twice. If you know the ending, why spend two hours watching it again? After seeing “Apocalypto” this last weekend, I became my own hypocrite. This flick is cuhhhh-razy. Interestingly enough, the critics think it’s bunk; too violent and on some savage-like disturbing steez for our stuffy, dim-witted movie culture. Did I just say that? Really though, the only reason I’m sticking up for this flick is because beyond the head hunting gore, this movie carries such a deep-rooted meaning. Here’s the scoop: the plot surrounds a man (Jaguar Paw) living at the end of the Mayan culture. His life and village seem like a utopia for the time: his people live plentifully off the land, adore the forest for the riches it provides and basically chill; everyone is equal and life is good. Overnight, this dream of a life changes for Jaguar Paw and his people. Word travels that a take-over is about to go down. Jaguar Paw is tainted by fear and paranoia about the forecast. In the dawn of a quiet morning, their village is raided and burned to pieces and the villagers either get snuffed or captured and taken to a foreign city.

Now this is the point in the movie that makes me roll my eyes at all the people that hate on this film. Yes, the main character eventually gets through all the blood, bad boys and drama and saves the day, same old shit. But the themes of this movie are glossed over by critics. This movie isn’t meant to show the viewers decapitations and how bad-ass the Mayans were, but it was to (drum roll….) give a psychological LESSON to human beings. “A great civilization is not destroyed from without until it has destroyed itself from within”, this quote began the movie and explains the end of it simultaneously. After being captured, the villagers begin to believe their own destruction and buy in to the fear. What’s the lesson here? Thoughts create reality, ya’ll. All of the power is within us, therefore under our control. Sink or swim, you know?

When the villagers are taken to the estranged city, hierarchies and social classes are in vogue (not to mention the forest that once thrived there is completely murdered), something the villagers had never seen before. It’s a simple concept: as soon as people begin to assign classes to one another, the poison sets in and self-destruction is triggered. The movie shows scenes that completely mirror our society today: we got the elders asking for food and care, kids beefing out of plain malice, the five-finger discounters, the fat kid filled with entertainment and food rather than his momma’s love, the corrupt priest rounding up his spaced-out followers, etc. This shit doesn’t work…we’ve seen it in the ruin of the Mayans and today. Case in point: this film is a bona fide reminder that faith and equality among humanity is the only thing that’s gonna keep us from sinking. Booya!

Gowatchit! -A$hley