Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Mist: Revaporized

Starring: Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Frances Sternhagen, Nathan Gamble, Jeffrey DeMunn,
Marcia Gay Harden, William Sadler, Andre Braugher



The plot: It starts with a storm and a geek, blink and you’ll miss it, nod to fans of Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” novels. David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his family retreat to their basement to ride out the bad weather. When they emerge in the morning a tree has crashed through their front window, and the power is out. David and his young son go into town for supplies, leaving his wife behind. It’s at the grocery store where David first realizes something is horribly wrong. A man, bloodied and panicked, races into the store screaming “there’s something in the mist!” Just as David and the other customers look out the window to see an unnatural mist rolling towards the store, the city’s air raid sirens sound.

More terrifying than the horrifying creatures lurking outside the store are the two-legged beings lurking within it. The Mist is more than just some monster movie, instead it’s a careful examination of human nature. Darabont’s adapted script develops each character carefully, and the film’s real thrills come from following his group of terrified survivors as they fight, fear, and quite simply fall apart in different ways as hope drains away. Some turn to God and fatalism, others turn to logic, still others choose denial and pay for their refusal to face facts. David Drayton however, simply refuses to give up.




The best part of it all is this slow revelation into a much larger and grotesque realization...my favorite part; the hidden human: More terrifying than the horrifying creatures lurking outside the store are the two-legged beings lurking within it. The Mist is more than just some monster movie, instead it’s a careful examination of human nature.

From the beginning of the strange mist rolling over everything and making sight near impossible; like condensation on a window, The Mist begins to wipe the facade of our civilized pseudo moralities so we can being to recognize the vision behind the frosted glass. The first victim in the movie is more or less a male ego sacrifice used as a tool to prove/disprove the "you're no better than us" ideology between city folks and country people. Needlesstosay, the main character is right as the young victim is helplessly slaughtered and dragged beneath a garage door as all the trash-talking big bad country boys stand trembling; reeling from the new terror up close and personal. Only the main character, David even tries to help the boy, warning him long before he is in the position of no return. Typical bully mentality always uses someone else to carry out its dirty work; only to blame the victim in the end for being stupid enough to do what they were told by the bully. The poor people and the rich have always been separated by a chasm of distrust as vast as the number of zeroes and commas in their account balances.






But what of this bizarre creature that we only see some furcious tentacles and hear an occassional growl from behind the loading dock door? Could these tentacles be every bit as deadly as sweet temptation itself; swooning us through familarity, newness and cajouling us closer to its depths. A serpant has a strike distance; if you are beyond that, you may be safe for a while....but somehow we are tantilized closer and closer like moths to the flame. Some say its in our genes; others say its in our heads and the least say its between our legs. Temptation rarely comes without a prepared path; "pre" being little steps "pared" off the larger or more narrow path. Perhaps the tentacles are our minds or our disobediences or the DNA of humanity....

This movie is truly powerful in its examination and depiction of real human interactionary destruction when everything formerly secure isn't...for instance 9/11. When it happens, we easily react in several manners. We fall apart in different ways as hope drains away. Some turn to God and fatalism, others turn to logic, still others choose denial and pay for their refusal to face facts. As in the case of God; I tend to think of it as that person who calls you out of the blue only when they want something or has never called until they wanted something. Either way, people in general; well "I" am less compelled to be inclined — we have no relationship, no preexisting time shared together, no jelling of the emotions or heart, an absence of presence. Isnt it ironic or moronic to end up in that situation and expect sympathy or even an answer. Suddenly someone who has never "hung out" with God is begging him like a school girl. Clearly God's much better than I and we. I am willing to easily admit that. Ironicly, there is even a lawyer in this movie ... and you couldnt tell him the sky was blue if he was staring at it. He just refused to believe. Even worse, his own internal brokeness made him separate himself as though it was all a race issue. [the monsters didnt care whether it was dark meat or pork]. Some of the people just shut down; deciding to just cash out themselves than suffer the waiting. I wont give away the end; but it is the sure mark of great storytelling. Those who refuse to give up...sometimes learning is giving up. Can't you think of a time when you would have been better of to have admitted your mistake and just went on. Politicians have gotten good at it, even if country music stars havent yet.


The only thing certain to stay the same is the same of change. Needless to say, this movie is full of stuff far meatier than monsters.Monsters are always invisible to themselves in the mirror. There are no trees in the forest. Our tongues could set ten thousand forests ablaze with a mere syllable. Does the planet Earth consider us its monsters?

!!!
M

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