Tuesday, February 22, 2011

'The Edge' (1997) movie review

'The Edge' is one of the best survival movies ever made. It ties into some of the pagan concepts that we look into on this blog, and gives some sort of idea of the type of world that the ancients lived in. A world which gave birth to their spirituality.

Our ancestors lived in an environment at the same longitude as the state of Washington, and in a similar landscape. Coming out of the last ice age, Europe was probably pretty similar to modern Alaska, which was the location of the film.

Most of their existence was about survival. This was probably why they used animal symbolism for certain traits. For example, a wolf represented courage. They were much more in tune with the idea that "life is struggle." They probably had to contend with animals like the massive Kodiak bear shown in the movie, or with woolly lions, just within just the last several thousand years.

Another factor was that at one point up to about six thousand years ago, agriculture wasn't even possible due to the climate, so hunting would have been the chief source of food. Mammoths, which they hunted, only died out about ten thousand years ago.

'The Edge' is a great movie, which mixes personal struggles between people, with the struggle against the environment. That is a theme that has played itself over and over during eons of time. Anyone even just interested in paganism should see it on that basis alone. There have been movies about the very ancient past; but this movie, with a current theme, makes it easier to relate to the characters.

[Right: image from CourageWolf on photobucket]

From 'The Edge' Wikipedia page:

The Edge is a 1997 survival and relationship drama film directed by Lee Tamahori starring Anthony Hopkins as billionaire magazine publisher Charles Morse and Alec Baldwin as Bob Green, one of his ambitious employees. Harold Perrineau also co-stars as the group's photographer Stephen. Elle Macpherson has a supporting role as Hopkins' trophy wife and model for his magazine. Her presence in the beginning of the movie acts as a catalyst for the film's bold rivalry between Baldwin and Hopkins. L. Q. Jones has a supporting role as an innkeeper. Bart the Bear, a trained Kodiak Bear known for appearing in several Hollywood movies, also appears, as a vicious grizzly, and it would be one of his last film roles.

The movie was written by David Mamet and, despite the unusual setting, it touches upon many themes common to Mamet's other works, including the bonding of strong male characters, tough posturings and playful surprises. The story explores, through action and intricate dialog, the survival instincts of these men in terms of their competition with each other and with their environment.


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