There are many reasons why this film does not deserve the acclaim that has been garnered by Roland Emmerich’s previous works like ‘Independence Day’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. After watching the film, one is utterly astounded at how such a director could create such an elaborately expensive, wasteful and listless project.
Firstly, the film’s plot of a man moving against all odds by waging a war against some terrible, fearsome force to rescue the eternal love of his life is highly clichéd. Our hero, D’leh, is the focal point of a prophecy of the crazy old village woman, whom everyone listens to. And what is the prophecy? He has to save his tribe from certain “four legged creatures” (kill your curiosity; they turn out to be humans of another civilization). Predictably, his love, Evolet, gets captured, along with a few hundred other people of his tribe, by these four legged creatures (a lurid combination of Mayans from Apocalypto and the Vikings from ‘The Pathfinder’). Then, obviously, he sets out to rescue his love, fighting sabre toothed tigers and terror birds and gathering the allegiance of other tribes, who incidentally also have their own prophecy about him. He topples villainous civilization and gets his love. Ho- hum.
If the dull plot wasn’t enough, the narrative of the film is a major letdown. The actors cannot act, the dialogues have been written and delivered in a one- dimensional and at times laughable manner, and the script is pitiful. There are long drawn silences between these painfully predictable lines. The storyline coupled with the dialogue rendition makes one wonder if one is watching a taut adventure film or an animated superhero cartoon adaption.
Moreover, there are no thrills and chills one would expect from a film purporting to be as adventurous as 10000 B.C. Nothing unexpected happens. The story lumbers on, long and dreary, frustrating and exhausting the viewer into wishing for a reprieve from this torture of mediocrity. I temporarily developed sadistic tendencies, wishing for the sabre toothed cat to chomp up someone, that old lunatic ‘prophesising’ village woman maybe; the “four legged creatures” to kill D’leh and the rest of the do-gooders; and the tribes to die by fighting against each other . But none of that. The film happily floats to a lazy death and makes you want to tear your hair out.
The film has been panned by almost all critics, except for a ludicrous article by The Hindu, studded with praise for the film. I was one of the unfortunate people to read the article and actually go watch the movie. The most painful aspect of the movie is the amount of money that must have been spent on it and could instead have been used to create a realistic, taut and redoubtable adventure film set in prehistory.
If you have seen Apocalypto, then do not see this film, the plot and concept are almost the same, however, bad direction, dialogue, script and plot distinguish 10000 B.C. from Mel Gibson’s bloody classic. Where Apocalypto was nail-bitingly tense and eerily prophetic, 10000 B.C is listless and lifeless.
Conclusively, the only thing that I have come to realise after watching the film is that it seems to be a strong contender for next year’s Raspberry Awards. The one and only reason for watching the film can be the sound and special effects. I give it three out of ten.
(image courtesy: http://blog.ugo.com/images/uploads/10000bc_teaser_thumb.jpg)