Sunday, January 17, 2010

Denzel Washington & The Book of Eli

Linda and I saw "The Book of Eli" Friday night. I have some thoughts about "Eli," and then about Denzel.

First, "The Book of Eli."

  • The first thought that comes to my mind is: whoaa, Eli is one very tough, very bad dude! He cartoonishly defeats hoards of people who stand in the way of his God-given mission. The violence, on Eli's part, is used to defend and protext the innocent. In this movie it's not too hard to see who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.
  • Bleak, bleak, and more bleak. Reality is nowhere near as bleak as the Eli-ian landscape. The world of Eli is the antithesis of Avatar's "Pandora."
  • I generally found "Eli" boring when he wasn't chopping off heads, in the name of Jesus. Actually, not only in the name of Jesus, but led by Jesus (see the movie's end, then reverse-engineer the movie to see what I mean).
  • The bad-guy played by Gary Oldman irritated me. I could not help but think of Oldman the actor, over-acting. When I start thinking like this I am not into the movie, which is not good as a movie-goer.
  • A question: why not the NIV rather than the NKJV? It's good it wasn't the TNIV, otherwise a protest would arise. And it could not have been "The Message," since it's too folksy for the kind of violence to be justified.
  • A new meaning is given to "walking by faith, not by sight." I am not sure it is a good meaning.
  • Eli's book is worth preserving. It is a powerful, revolutionary book. I did appreciate that.
  • "Eli" can be seen as a metaphor for the spiritual battle to advance the causes of God. Like a "Lord of the Rings" thing. There was a lot of non-Jesus violence in it, and we didn't complain. Taken this way, "The Book of Eli" is interesting.
Second, on Denzel Washington.
  • DW is a Jesus-follower.
  • See the christianitytoday interview with DW here.
  • DW says (from the ct interview): I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I've been filled with the Holy Spirit. I know it's real. I was in the room. My cheeks blew up, I cried like a baby, and it scared me to death. It kind of scared me off it. I backed up and went the other direction, to be honest with you. I didn't know what was going on. It was too strong. It has taken me many years to come back around."
  • Washington is "a Hollywood superstar who, though not perfect, offers that rare example of a Christian in a place of extreme acclaim and success who doesn't let it go to his head, instead remaining grounded in the Bible and reliance on God."
  • I am thankful for that.