Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:03 am
By Folorunso Fatai Adisa
On one evening in 2006, I was returning from the petrol station where I had gone to get a keg of diesel for our “lister” generator. I saw a group of people who were riveted to the movie they were seeing on a big screen beside the road. They damned the consequences of watching a movie right beside a busy road. They didn’t care about a car developing a break failure, a head on collision amongst all other accident they were opened to experience while standing beside the road to watch a movie. I caught some glances too and I saw what they saw which eventually informed their lackadaisical attitude towards the hazard of watching a movie beside the road— the magnetic fascination that accompanied watching “Apocalypto” is inexplicable.
Apocalypto is a 2006 American epic historical adventure film that’s produced, co-written, and directed by the meritorious Mel Gibson. The film— which was set in Yutcatan, Mexico, portrays the heros’ journey of a young man named Jaguar Paw, who lives in the Mesoamerican rainforest as a hunter with his fellow tribesmen who are captured by an invading force. After the devastation of their village, they are brought on a perilous journey to a Mayan city for human sacrifice at a time when the Maya civilization is in decline. In the fight for his life, he must escape to return to his family. The movie features a cast of Native American and Indigenous Mexican actors.
“I’m going to peel off his skin and make him watch me wear it.” This spine-chilling threat is delivered by one of the main antagonists, Zero Wolf, in Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto.” His son, Cut Rock, had just been murdered by Jaguar Paw. And that validates the saying of Mark Twain,an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer.” where he remarked: “ The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him; he does the thing he ought not to do; and often it catches the expert out and ends him on the spot.” And the man is set to take a revenge. And that marked his end— and that of his foot soldiers too.
Incontrovertibly, there are a lot of evisceratings, impalings, clubbings and beheadings. Hearts are excavated, still throbbing, from slashed-open chests. A man’s face is masticated off by a jaguar. Another’s neck is pierced by darts tipped with frog venom. The most frightening , perhaps, is the sight of hundreds of cadaver haphazardly layered in an open space: a provocative and ill-advised excursion into Holocaust imagery on Gibson’s part which gifts the viewer with a form of sanguinary sensation.
Meil Gibson, Man Behind the Movie
I watched the movie for the umpteenth time yesterday night and it still remains fresh with its weird but entertaining mix of action, bloodletting, bloodcurdling, gory and gripping tense thriller.
Finally, It is, above all, a muscular and kinetic action movie, a drama of rescue and revenge with very little organic relation to its historical setting.
Gibson seldom uses dialogue as a means of exposition, and he proves himself to be a capable, visual storyteller.
Impressively, he has a captivating way of combining gorgeous imagery and stunning brutality. For instance, as bodies are falling and crashing, bleeding and drowning in Apocalypto, the cinematography remains breathtaking and the compositions ravishing, whether they are lush forest backgrounds or fascinating faces in close-up.
I think Gibson is a genius. That he’s a fascinating filmmaker is visible in his ”Lethal Weapon, Braveheart, We Were Soldiers” amongst other movies he did.
Mel Colmcille Gerard Gibson was born in Peekskill New York on 3 January, 1956. He is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter who is best known for his action hero roles, especially his breakout role as Max Rockatansky in the first three films of the post-apocalyptic action series Mad Max and as Martin Riggs in the buddy cop film series Lethal Weapon.
Above is the face of the great Gibson.
-Folorunso Fatai Adisa— a corps member who currently serves at the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Ogun State — is a language enthusiast, public affairs analyst and writer. He holds a B.A. (Honours), in English Language from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
His e-mail: [email protected]