[Last Film I Saw] The Mission (1986)

Title: The Mission
Year: 1986
Language: English
Country: UK
Genre: Adventure, History
Director: Roland Joffé
Writer: Robert Bolt
Music: Ennio Morricone
Cinematography: Chris Menges
Robert De Niro
Jeremy Irons
Ray McAnally
Liam Neeson
Chuck Low
Aidan Quinn
Ronald Pickup
Cherie Lunghi
Alejandrino Moya
Rating: 5.0/10

Holding the prestigious fame of the Palme d’Or winner of 1986, THE MISSION to me is a structurally uneven piece whose only prerogatives are Morricone’s intriguing score and DP Chris Menges’ picturesque shots (deserve his Oscar winning).

I don’t know what the accuracy between the film and the historical event, the film failed to impress me neither in a religious aspect, nor in its moral level. I could not totally commit myself into the narrative, judging by De Niro’s character Rodrigo, since killing his brother during an unexpected duel, until the redemption in the midway, the performance is paper-thin and maybe director Roland Joffé didn’t intend to dig into a deeper ground to elaborate on his character, which is a common measurement here, only Ray McAnally survives as the Cardinal Aktanurabo, not an arresting role, but the late McAnally owns every scene he presents. Another leader Jeremy Irons a (the iper-pious and righteous Father Gabriel), has also been hobbled by the mindless neglects, but he excels De Niro by a notch in the course of their restrained two-hander screen-time. Furthermore, I found it rather weird of the prolonged close-ups on Rodrigo’s eyes before his ultimate demise (only after witnessing Father Gabriel being dispatched, he was able to close his intrepid eyes), maybe it is intentionally edited, but I could not figure it out the motivation.

I should have rated this film a bit higher than a 5.0/10, but I must be loyal to my true feelings, the slaughter in the latter film is a pre-AVATOR holocaust (except one waterfall scene, reminds of Meryl Streep in THE RIVER WILD 1994), maybe the influence of a tragedy is a two-edged sword, in my case, all I receive is the negative energy, and renders a feeling of factitious propaganda for the Church and the Jesuits. So, bite me if you disagree.


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