Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Celestine Prophecy - The Movie

In the nine years since James Redfield’s self-published novel, The Celestine Prophecy, became a world-wide sensation, a lot has happened.

Indeed, a lot of people, over 35 million people in fact, at least, have probably read the book [that’s minimally how many copies have been sold—no way to tell how many buyers read the book or how many people they gave the book to after reading the book, of course] , and two more insights (the 10th Insight and the 11th Insight have been published over the nine revealed in the first book).

So, one has to ask, “Why a movie now?”

Hasn’t just about everyone interested in the concepts of the book read it, the sequels and moved on?”

Well, of course, you know I didn’t read the book as one of my first insights into life as I have shared now innumerable times is never to read a book until after the film comes out.

So, wow, I offer a big thank you to the producers for making the film. Just after seeing the film, I rushed to the closest Barnes & Noble Bookstore (non-compensated reference, and I would have rushed to Amazon.com bookstores but they don’t have stores, and I wanted to see the book up close and personal right then and there).

I wanted to see if the book was a story like the film or a philosophy/spirituality guide like I had always thought. Needless to say, I was surprised and delighted to see that the book was a story, like the movie. I guess I should not have been surprised, but then one never knows. James Redfield co-authored the screenplay, and one would hope that this means that the film is true to the book. My quick skim leads me to believe that the film is very, very true to book.

Naturally, I didn’t have time to read it and then rush back to write my review. I also had a chance to skim the next two books, of course, I have to wait until the movies come out to read them—hopefully much sooner! But, aside from those devotees to my philosophy of waiting to read books only after the films come out, why make a movie now? My suspicion is that a lot of people didn’t think a film would really work.

A lot of others probably thought a new interpretation of spirituality and the meaning of life wouldn’t play well as a major motion picture. I cannot say if they were right. The movie certainly doesn’t seem to be getting much P.R. overall, at least, where I live.

It certainly did not get the release of Silent Hill or American Dreamz.

Too bad, since it was a much better film than either of those two duds. It’s better not in the special effects or acting talent which it certainly lacks but surpasses them ten fold in message, meaning, and purpose. Count me among the willing. Count me among the believers. I don’t even care if it is all just the musings of a new age philosopher.

Hey, I swallowed both What the Bleep films, and they were much harder to follow.

I loved the Fritjof Capra-based film Mindwalk.

These films are not for people who want to escape their lives via mind numbing fantasies of creepy video games or ‘sureality’ shows gone mad, these are for people who still believe that there is something more to this cosmic existence of ours than we know or comprehend probably exactly because as Redfield, Fritjof Capra, and even Daniel Quinn, author of the acclaimed Ishmael*, suggest indirectly the world is divided distinctly into two camps: the givers and the takers.

In Refield’s world, I would interpret these as those who give life energy to others vs. those hell-bent on sucking it not just from other people but all life on the planet. The takers don't want the givers reading these books or seeing these movies because doing so erodes the power they hold so dear. In this film, in fact, the character Jensen played wickedly by Jürgen Prochnow, says something to the effect that "The power will always be in the hands of those who believe that power belongs in the hands of the few to control the many."

So, yes, I do think it was important to finally get this movie out there for the masses of people who don’t read books in the first place, and as a reminder to those who do of the concepts for which, quite possibly our species is even more in need of than it was in 1993.

And, anyway, those people who have started to transition from takers to givers or those people who have always been givers need validation that they are on the right path regardless of what our socioeconomic and governmental policies might profess.

Was this a great movie? In the ‘what makes a truly great movie’ sense it was not because, basically, the story isn't that strong. But, this is not a story-driven movie. The story is concocted to deliver the imagined prophecy.

So in the purpose and point, it was a good film. I hope many people who are skeptical about the purpose of life right now and what’s going on in the world will make a point of seeing this movie and reading the book and others on similar topics (see links above for such books).

I enjoyed the movie, and I was pleased to see another incarnation of beliefs I have long held in the first place. I wish for all of the people out there in the world today using religion to justify their hatred or people who doubt there are alternatives to the ways we in the U.S.A. may have been raised to see the world whether these are ‘real’ or fantasy stirred up by an incredibly imaginative person, to please take a step back and think about what it really means to be part of the life energy of the universe?

What does it mean to really be connected? And what does it mean to really be a giver?

Deep down, all the answers are there no matter what religion or lack of religion we choose, deep down the answers are embedded in our consciousnesses and consciences. We are here to give more than we receive, to love more than we are loved, to create more than we destroy, and to live in harmony with the universal forces that ultimately led to our very existence in the first place.

The longer we try to fight the acceptance of this principle and live in utter opposition to it, the further we push ourselves away from our full potential as living contributors to the universe. These concepts are nothing new.

Aren't they really the basis for all human thought?

I would be remiss not to acknowledge the work of the actors in particular Matthew Settle who played John, Thomas Kretschmann (Wil), Sarah Wayne Callies (Marjorie), and Annabeth Gish (Julia) all of whom do very credible jobs for bringing the main characters of the story to life. Also, director Armand Mastroianni had obvious respect for the concepts of the film and was faithful in his adaptation of the book.

In the end, yes, I recommend this film. It's not a cinematic masterpiece, but it is a good vehicle for delivery of the message

Review from http://movieeveryday.blogspot.com/2006/04/celestine-prophecy.html

No comments: