The Book of Eli’ has apocalyptic twist

by Kati Herr/Staff Writer

Ever wonder what it would be like if a nuclear war devastated the world? What conflict would cause such a devastating and horrific war? Who would survive to lead the rebirth of nations?”The Book of Eli,” directed by Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes, is a bleak post-apocalyptic tale of courage, faith and perseverance. With seasoned actor Denzel Washington in the lead role of Eli and contributing performances by Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis, this story gives a realistic perspective on how a war-torn world could survive and be reborn.In this tale, the Christian Bible is said to be the cause of this war. The story begins years after the devastation when only a handful of people can remember life before the war. Luxuries like soap and clean water are nearly impossible to acquire and cannibalism is a means of survival for many. Of those who can remember the world before what they call “the flash,” only a select few can read.To a power-hungry man like Carnegie (Oldman), one book could provide the control he yearns for. Eli holds the last copy of this powerful book. He is guided by a divine voice within as he travels west to find a place where this book, the Bible, will be in safe hands for the rebirth of the nations.”The Book of Eli” has a unique filming technique with crooked frames and fast moving close-ups on objects as well as characters. The setting is entirely in gray with only slight rays of color shown throughout. This unique filming technique gives the plot a sense of solemnity and urgency from the very opening frame and intensifies throughout the film.Washington is both compelling and convincing in the role of Eli. He is a man on a mission with the power of the book guiding him every step of the way. His path is clear and his determination endless. His presence disturbs some survivors and calms others as he walks through every roadblock with a protected ease and authority. At times he must convince himself to stay on the path and not allow empathy to sway him as he experiences horrific displays of murderous men and carnivorous beasts terrorizing struggling survivors.Kunis comes a long way from the perky, conceited role of Jackie Burkhart on “That 70’s Show” in her performance of Solara. Kunis’s character is far from perky—she is strong-willed, solemn and strives only to stay in the good wills of Carnegie for her blind mother’s sake and her own survival. Solara becomes a hardheaded and determined woman as she grows to understand the importance of the book and Eli’s perseverance. Kunis is convincing in this role as the female heroine but at times does not seem to fully grasp Solara’s grave circumstances and character.”The Book of Eli” is a gripping mix of filming techniques and acting. This tale of faith, perseverance and hope gives a new twist to the question of how a post-apocalyptic world would look. It is a compelling plot with overarching religious themes that can be pondered by viewers long after the last frame.