Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto
By Mark S. McGrew
As most movies do, this one starts out slow. English subtitles are used, as the speaking parts are in a Mayan dialect. The subtitles are a bit aggravating and distract from the story. But don’t give up. Hold on to your seat. You are in for a rocket ride.
Apocalypto is not a movie. It is a sensation of feelings that may just astound you. The Yucatan scenery is intense and the way the sounds are used, you become a part of that scenery, watching the action from safely behind the trees. You may feel the leaves flapping against your vision as the chase goes on. The waterfall thunders in your mind, not your ears. You may gasp for your own breath when the men leap from the falls and explode into the water below.
As you watch, the subtitles become less of a distraction and eventually actually pull you into the action. As your eyes dart from the scene to the words to the scene to the words, your brain has a hard time keeping up with the action. You become a part of this heart pounding world.
Your senses will tingle and your breathing will change. No other scene has ever depicted the abject misery and anguish of being totally brutally dominated. You may not feel it, but you will understand the intense gut wrenching agony of being abandoned by your family in the time of your most dire need of life itself. It is a deep dark hole that few have crawled out of.
It is outrageous that men can be so cruel to others, but it happens, even today in our modern world, much too often. A crude stone knife being buried in your chest and still being alive as your heart is ripped out may stun you, but it is life. It is the way the world has been for far too long.
There is little doubt that you will be rooting for, and praying for, the People of the Forest, as the civilized people rape, loot and murder your friends.
And you will be laughing at the childlike innocence, as the People of the Forest do nothing but enjoy the life that they know was given to them by their God. It may bring back fond memories of your youth. And you will breathe a sigh of relief when a mother and her child, who have given up all hope, are rescued by the husband that she knew she would never see again.
Once again, somehow, with the perfect combination of sights, sounds and expressions, Mel Gibson has portrayed the eternal fight of the human spirit that will never give up, will never surrender, will never forget and above all, will never be destroyed.
We are eternal. No thing and no person or army can ever stop us from our march through time. And the proof is, the screams of a man fleeing for his life and the lives of his people, “This is my forest! My sons will be here after you are gone!”
And they are.
Don’t ever give up. Never!
I truly believe that this “movie” will survive not years, but centuries, as have the People of the Forest.