Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Book of Eli

By Gary Whitta.

I've been wanting to read this for over a year and finally got around to it yesterday. Everything in the universe felt correctly aligned and so I went for it.

Since knowing what the screenplay was about, I was intrigued mostly to see if it would hold up as another post-apocalyptic yarn. And the verdict is: it does.

The story is about a lone man who's been travelling a long time on the word of God and is determined to reach his destination. This means keeping himself to himself and not entering into situations or conversations with people because they're not important to his journey. No matter what, he must keep on moving west.

The screenplay is well written, naturally and in such incredible detail from the outset it had me reading with awe. How such simple and mundane things were described with such elegance and purpose to it. The characters were vivid and carried interesting traits and stories and were handled nicely within the confines of such a world. The standout element was how it played with our (my) expectations of such a desolate world and its pre-set conventions. It offered up new ways of doing things or unexpected events and characters. It's nicely paced and works so well in creating effective intrigue/suspense and the slow delivery of the main character and his meeting with the opposition that you know is out in the wasteland.

The screenplay is more than the sum of its part and ultimately is about faith, what is it and what it means to a person, which can mean a different thing to another. It's about following your path and doing what you feel is right even if there's no proof or guarantee of success.

I'm looking forward to seeing the film and how well it transferred.

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