It seems that the end of the world is not the end of the world anymore. In the recent years it seems like there is a vast attraction to the concept of a mutilated world filled with shattered pieces of what once seemed to be life; the last human beings are trying to survive the horrific reality and keep their humanity in a world that has become savage and brutal; there are so many versions to this post-apocalyptic life, and it has even been described quite vividly in different religious beliefs.
So what new perspective is there to show of this mundane wilderness that was once a throbbing civilization? Well, much like in anything else, the new bits are always the characters and the story.
The book of Eli
The plot of the movie is led by a loner who wanders the wilderness of a world that was destroyed by some kind of vast destruction .
During his travels he wanders by demolished highways and fallen bridges. Huge fossils left back from the reign of men. But all of that is the past, and all that is left of human beings are scavengers who travel across the dusty roads of the land, rape and kill whoever is not strong enough to oppose them. The end of the world never seemed better; all is ruined and soaked in shades of brown and orange.
Eli, the lead character in this movie, believes that he has a special calling. He has to keep on traveling west for as long as it may take and get a mysterious book to an unknown destination. During his travels he encounters a wicked mayor of a godforsaken town who wants the book for himself.
The book of Eli is a movie that glorifies the horrific and grotesque scenery of the post apocalyptic world, while leaning on fantastic aspects. Eli seems like a trained swordsmen and sniper, traits which build a character of some kind of a super hero that can perform super human acts. This shifts the genre of the movie to the world of comics/adventure genre, thus decreasing the effect of the horrific nature of the post apocalyptic world. Nevertheless, this world is frightening and horrific. Apart from Eli himself, it seems like the human beings are helpless and desperate, but at least they have a savior.
No savior here. A father (Viggo Mortensen) and son travel thorough a nightmare of a world, trying desperately to survive but for what end? It seems like it doesn’t matter, as they waking up the next morning, finding crumbs of bread to eat as if it’s a fulfilling meal.
This world is quite different than the decor usually portrayed in these kind of movies, a set of forests and lakes, muddy roads and lakes. Here, everything is gray and gloomy. This might be the most sincere and painful vision of Life after the End of Everything: hunger, sickness, madness. The never ending fears that tear every fiber of certainty. Those who possess the powers of weapons and manpower have the upper hand. There are no more morals. The father promises his son that they will forever be the “good ones”, they will retain their humanity. But the truth leaks in slowly.Is there any hope left? Or does Everyone loses their humanity at one point or another?