Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Apostle. B

The Apostle reminded me of Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade for several different reasons. The Apostle (which coincidentally features Thornton in a small role), is about a different kind of person who commits a crime because of his unique persona. Sling Blade is also about a different kind of person who commits a crime because of his unique persona. The Apostle is a personal movie for Robert Duvall, who wrote, directed, and starred in the film. The same thing can be said for Thornton and Sling Blade. Of course one can only go so far with these comparisons because the protagonist of Sling Blade is a mentally ill man, and the protagonist of The Apostle is a religious fanatic whose extreme devotion to the Lord ultimately forces him to run from the law. But it's still intriguing to look at the similarities between these two very interesting projects. I think I liked Sling Blade more because it was able to grasp human emotions that the audience could relate to. The Apostle on the other hand is about a character so eccentric and unlike anyone you've ever seen that I'm not even sure Duvall understands him completely. We may be able to decipher the morality of his character, but we still don't know why he does what he does because we don't know who he is. But as a movie looked upon on its surface only, it's pretty strong. It offers a portrait of a kind of person who does exist, but whose passion for his love is different than anything we've ever encountered. I'm not sure what made Duvall want to make the movie, other than the fact that it gave him the chance to show how good an actor he really is (not that he needed to). The movie's not perfect, but it is one of the most interesting things I've seen. And I'm sure that's what Duvall was going for and that he'd be pleased to hear it.

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