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Nov 13, 2012

My Review for PROMETHEUS.

          Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Kate Dickie, Lucy Hutchinson, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Patrick Wilson, Ian Whyte and Daniel James.


                   Ridley Scott.


                 Prometheus is a Sci-Fi movie from Ridley Scott, who made Blade Runner and Alien as you all know. The buzz that surrounded this movie was just exceptional, many people were expecting and anticipating an Alien prequel. But when the movie was released, people found out that it had nothing to do with Alien and furthermore the questions it raises without giving any answers really disappointed many people. So the reaction that this movie got from the audience and even critics was favorable for the wonderful visuals, effects, production and performances but they were not at all pleased overall. Is it okay to throw a movie in dumpster if it doesn't matches your high expectations? I find it quite awful when this happens, specially when the movie is good but a certain thing kills its chances of being watched and loved by the audience. If the things i said so far are any indication, i loved this movie. Its often very hard for me to love Sci-Fi or any of these generic movies without criticizing how cliched or familiar the plot elements look like and how much of creativity, intelligence and work is needed to not do that. So here we are with Prometheus, a movie that is not afraid to ask questions it doesn't give answers for, its not afraid to do new things and its definitely not afraid of reaching places we don't usually think of. Prometheus makes you puzzle a bit, it makes you uncomfortable, uncertain with its narrative which is intentional. I don't think a movie needs to spoon feed audience, you can interpret things on your own. A movie like this or should i say any movie or type of art shouldn't have boundaries, no rules or anything and it should stand on its own.

                 So Prometheus tells us the story of a crew of scientists on a spaceship "Prometheus" on there way to uncertainty. They are following something even they aren't quite sure of but we are always curious to find things, seek answers and explore the realities. So they follow this star map that they have been discovering on the remnants of different civilizations, carved on rocks etc. They think that it will lead them to finding the truth about the existence of their own and the origin of humanity. Things turns out quite the opposite when they find something far superior and quite bigger than what they were hoping for and a grave threat that can wipe off their very own existence. Prometheus begins with a highly ambiguous shot, we see a spacecraft leaving a beautiful looking planet. We see an alien, a humanoid who drinks some dark bubbling liquid. Suddenly something happens, every single inch of his body starts to disintegrate and it all falls into the waterfall. We see his DNA starts a reaction, a biogenetic reaction. So that shot shows us that human life or life in general on our planet or in this universe was triggered by an alien? Why? As i said the crew of Prometheus leaving for the distant planet, the project was started by CEO of Weyland Corporation, Peter Weyland (Pearce). We meet an android on board, David (Fassbender) with his blond hair and stunning looks he seems quite a human being but he is not. The introduction of David is nothing less than intriguing, we see him walking around the ship as the crew is in stasis checking up on them and everything else on board. David is particularly fond of the movie Lawrence of Arabia, he tries to mimic the characters and his hair style resembles that of Peter O'Toole in the movie. With that kind of introduction, it gives us a hint of what or how he is. I often found him superiorly interesting to anyone else on board since his perspective on things is that of a robot and not from a human mind. That being said, he develops this thing of his own where he somewhat acts oppositely of what he is made for. We discover later that Weyland is still alive, who created him. David feels superior due to his knowledge of every single thing but is quite intrigued by how human beings work, their mind, the heart and their faith. The year is 2093 and they have arrived, the first person to wake up is the director Meredith Vickers (Theron) in a fascinating shot of her after which she explains the rules to the crew. Elizabeth Shaw (Rapace) and Holloway (Green) gives an introduction to the project, things that they have been working on and what they are expecting to find.

                 The team explores the planet, they land near a large structure of some sort that appears artificial. They find numerous stone cylinders and a statue of a head, also many corpses of large aliens that are thought to be Engineers (they are the one who created life). Its quite thrilling to watch them explore this distant planet, the potential danger that is lurking and the possibility of something extraordinary keeps us glued to the screen. I must say, since the very origin of life have been brought up in the movie, the whole Darwinism and creationism thing followed by some big philosophical and more importantly religious ideas are being explored. That cave or whatever you may call it looked like a temple of some sort, the large head of humanoid looked like something that "someone" used to pray to. I don't know if that is the case but the imagery brought such things in my head, also those cylinders there i think were suppose to be the vessels for new life. David secretly takes one of the cylinders with him as the other one starts leaking some dark liquid, the same one! A new life form is created, a worm like creature that kills two of the crew members that are left after the others heads towards the ship following a fast approaching storm. Back in the ship, the DNA from those Engineers is a match with humans.

                   David who brought the cylinder with him discovers a dark liquid which he later uses to contaminate a drink giving it to Holloway. Elizabeth Shaw who is an archaeologist and a strong believer is together with Holloway, they have sex afterwards. Now the crew heads back to find the other two members, David separately finds a control room with an alive Engineer in stasis and a star map. The liquid that Holloway ingested is making him sick and as he is headed back, the infection takes over his body and as Vickers refuses to let him aboard due to the threat, she burns him with a flamethrower. One of the most disturbing scenes that you'll see comes after it is revealed in a medical scan that Shaw is pregnant with an Alien baby. She uses an automated surgery table to get that strange squid-like creature out of her body. It is extremely excruciating and painful to watch that scene, particularly the reason why this movie got an R-rating apart from other things. Shaw soon discovers afterwards that the Engineers, one of them who is still alive wants to destroy the planet Earth and all the human beings on it. Shaw has a strong faith and she is quite religious. Her spirits are quite high and she is a tough fighter and a survivor, played superbly by Naomi Rapace. This role was meant for her, excellent performance. She is someone who despite all that happened, doesn't want to return home without any answers first. She wants to find why did the Engineers wanted to destroy us? If they made us then why kill us all in the end? What made them change their mind? What made them unhappy? Whats next for us or them? It does quite plays out brilliantly in a way. Towards the end, the plot gets a bit thin and it might doesn't make sense but it is intentional. The haunting mystery that this movie has backed up by a truly scary looking imagery works a lot. Space was never this much horrifying, the last i recall was when i watched Alien/Aliens which showed us the uglier side of the unthinkable mysteries that lurks in the vast space (forget the other crappy movies). Prometheus has amazing visual effects, the planet or moon they are on has the exact look of something far more mysterious and striking than our own planet. The production design is fascinating with much thinking given to even the smallest details to make the movie look good, appeal and match up with the ongoing plot. The sound design, action, that heart stopping score i mean this movie is a technical marvel, visually epic and a cinematic/sci-fi perfection.

                 There are some pretty serious elements in this movie, the constant visceral vs cerebral battle does proves quite effective for this thought provoking science fiction movie. It has enough intelligence and is quite open and vast in its imagination which is something that makes you think and discuss about the movie long after you have seen it. It is fascinating to think that why does those horrible things happen with them on that planet. What made them trigger? the human beings of course. As you see, the moment they touch things inside the cave, the moment they breath in that atmosphere, things starts to change. Again it brings the religious elements in our minds, abiding man from doing something that he does anyway. Our sins, deadly sins that will haunt us in the end. The worm-like creature, those squid-like aliens or that menacing creature (that recalls the one in Alien movie) that comes out towards the end of the movie from the body of an Engineer himself. What does that tell you? I can't give definite answers nor have i a clue of why those things happened exactly in the movie, what are they trying to show or prove but that is the best thing about this movie. Never in my life have i anticipated a sequel but in this case, i want one right away.

                    Ridley Scott have made something quite brilliant here, something more amazing then he is given the credit for and something that i hope will get the deserved love and respect with time and re-watches and will be appreciated after years just like his previous sci-fi masterpieces have. Though i still think that Prometheus is not very well written if you talk about the movie itself while keeping the sequel thing aside. Michael Fassbender and Naomi Rapace are the highlights of the movie as far as performances go with equally good turn from Charlize Theron. Though my review itself is somewhat of a muddled description but the movie as much as it has some serious mind-bending and confusing plot elements, it is a good mess.

Grade: A-