Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Yesterday late afternoon and into the night I finally got to see "The Four Feathers." First I watched all the "special features" which were all monologues from the director with a bit here and there from the screen writer. I appreciated this sequence of events after I viewed the entire film. Without the opportunity to see and hear the director, I would not have been attuned to the undercurrents of this film, nor probably to the musical interplay amoung the scenes.

Lots of reviewers panned it, and lots of reviewers liked it. The superficiality of the panning reviews is incredible. Apparently they were watching some other film because some reviews leave out Abou, and most seem to be totally unaware of this movie as "parable" and as the surrealistic episodic film it is - the desert portions are surreal and Abou appears as an angel in the oddest places. He comes and goes - there is no explanation of HOW. We westerners with out LINEAR discourse style have very little patience with the circular development of Eastern discourse, and we want HOW spelled out. Thus it is no surprise that reviewers have missed the flow of this story. If you allow yourself to see this film as it unfolds in front of you, and you allow yourself to listen without a linear frame of reference, or impatience, you will see that the story of Abou and Harry is the heart of the film, and that the journey Harry makes is within more than without, and Abou is the only way he can make this journey. One reviewer wrote that the Abou character has no believability and is false - he says, in fact, "What's in it for Abou?" Well, Abou is not motivated by that sentence, he is ruled by destiny, and destiny placed Harry in his path, and with that comes responsibility. Once the choice is made to help Harry, Abou has taken on that responsibility for life. A foreign concept to the Western world, but not to many peoples of the East.

"The Four Feathers" is a beautiful film, I recommend it.

No comments:

Post a Comment