Saturday, December 18, 2010

Movie Review of 2012 (2009)

Movie Review of 2012 (2009)

Beings are owners of their actions…heirs of their actions, they originate from their actions, are bound to their actions, have their actions are their refuge. It is action that distinguishes beings as inferior and superior.
- Culakammavibbanga Sutta, in The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, tran. By Bhikkhu Bodhi

The story is based on the belief that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012. Nasa has a good selection of questions and answers based on this rumour.

This is a movie where special effects are the star. However, the characters are also interesting and engaging. It is a movie about family, birth family, broken family, fathers and sons, grandmother and grandsons, but even more so, about the family of man. John Cusack plays Jackson Curtis an idealistic, divorced father who rises to amazing levels of courage and ingenuity in order to save his ex-wife and children. Tom McCarthy plays Gordon Silberman, a “nice guy” stepfather who also rises to the occasion. Spliced into Woody Harrelson plays a small part as a crazy but correct conspiracy theorist , the key to our central family’s survival. It is refreshing to see a movie where courage, sacrifice, love, and humanity are prominent.

There are a few moments where the viewer doubts the decisions made but this is a movie about people under tremendous pressure trying to decide who and what to save at the end of the world. Rationality would undoubtedly be a challenge. The science may be shaky, but the propulsion isn’t; suspense is held for the entire length of the story. The movie is mostly large scale destruction, but there are wonderful pauses throughout. With all the knowledge available on the Buddha’s Teachings, I’m not sure they chose the most relevant one to detail between the Tibetan Buddhist monk and his Teacher.

I found it interesting that the monk, in attempting to save his family, inadvertently is the cause of the possible deaths of hundreds. On the other hand, it is only when the potential (billionaire) survivors extend their hand to others, is Jackson Curtis able to succeed in the final act. It was a great relief to see an End of the World movie devoid of mass scale butchery and brutality.

Interesitng ending about the cradle of humankind.

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