Tuesday, March 24, 2009
It's funny, but I simply never got around to this film until now. What a mistake that was waiting this long! I caught the movie on cable of all things to boot. My undergrad is in Anthropology, and when this film was on the verge of release I was knee-deep in Meso American cultural studies, the two (for obvious reasons) go hand in hand. As movies go, yes there are many, many departures from what could be considered "accurate", but in my eyes, how often do Mayan based flicks of this magnitude come out anyway. If it brings a little light to a oft ignored people, setting, and genre, so be it, I'll allow for a few concessions.
The film is a little over two hours, but it flies by in the blink of an eye. At its core it is incredibly simple; a sweeping story told in three parts, with a foot race that would make Forrest Gump jealous at its conclusion. It's an action flick, sure, but cleverly disguised by amazing sets, costumes, and cinematography. Even the dialog, which is a localized dialect of Yucatecan Mayan, lends that extra 'something' to the overall film. The action is intense and the images of Mayan culture aren't held in check whatsoever, they are laid for bare in all their graphic glory. It's a decadent culture in decline, and if one just had to look for allegory, you could find it at every corner. Although worlds apart, many facets of the Mayan culture on display mimic our own world today, and possibly serve as a warning.