Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tabula Rasa

Author(s): Tony
Location: Pittsburgh

"Tabula Rasa"

Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by Randall Wallace
Produced by Andrew Mason
Music by John Debney
Visual Effects by Joe Letteri
Make-up by C.J. Goldman
Editing by Jamie Selkirk
Sound by Janty Yates

Main Cast

Jude Law as The Priest
Clancy Brown as Othi
Mark Strong as Andries
Ashley Scott as Everilda
Vincent Regan as Danor
Logan Lerman as Nicolaus

Tagline: "His awakening chose his path, his war will choose his legacy"

Synopsis: After speaking with many of the town folk in medieval Europe, the priest returned to his home to follow with normal rituals of his own, giving his claim to the lord above. He was loved by every man, woman, and child. His words filled the homes with great inspiration and leadership. It was that night he had the dream, a foreshadowing. It was a serpentine offering, an offering to give him the power no normal man could possess, to share his sacrifice, claiming his faith has been holding him back from his true calling. The snake is hatred, darkness, and despair. It was notoriously tempting as it injected its venom into his veins. Still shrouded in mystery, the priest awakens. He walks outside as the rain drips off his fingertips. His faith is now in question, as nothing but electrical vibes go through his body, he now has the power. He has chosen his path, a man against God, the anti-christ.

Winds that blow depravity signify his choice, but could the priest be so sure of his power? To know several volunteers of the town take part in a gathering, where the only outcome would be blood shed in the house of God. Two warriors discuss the priests behavior, Othi and Andries. Othi had a son, Nicolaus, and his adoring wife Everilda. Andries didn't have a family, only his blood thirsty brother, Danor. The two would not know that later in the times they would become bitter enemies, sworn to protect their beliefs in a war that was soon to be unleashed. The priest walked out from the church with these words, "I am the first creature of this Kingdom, too long have I been in the shadows of invention and creation, I will be the one, to out live HIS time, with the triumph of free will". A man of god was Othi, his loyalty stayed the same, but Andries didn't. He will deceive the flesh of his race and become a servant.

By orders from the priest Andries and Danor were to execute any person of God. Warm by his fire, the priest senses his desire overtaking him. He began to question whether this was the right path, his ongoing battle with the good and evil inside him. For some reason he felt too close to this fire. Othi continues to build an army to fight the forces of darkness, especially after his sons betrayal and Everildas murder by Andries. The time has come, the men have said their goodbyes, their freedom and will at stake. The priest wages his army against those blinded by God. Days go by and the war continues, hundreds have died and the stench is overwhelming. Othi has killed Andries and Danor with the loss of his ear and pinky, his last sacrifice being his blade through his sons heart. The priest looks on at the carnage and his army has failed. He realizes he is nothing more than a man, a man who's responsible for the slaughter around him. He knows there's no forgiveness. Because of his sin he has asked to be burned alive at the stake. It's as close as it has ever been, sparks fly and fire licks his wings, he knows he was born for this burning. Flames devour his skin, his days as an earthbound entity are outnumbered, and he has come to an end.

What the Press would say:

"Tabula Rasa" is not a film you see only once. It's a film that drives you to the ticket booth to buy another because you know you were mesmerized by the great things this film provided that you missed more great things, so you make up for it. This is a fullthroated, red-blooded battle epic about a lovable priest who takes a shift in his life and realizes there is nothing to truly care for in his religion after experiencing a life changing occurrence. He believes he serves another purpose in life, to become the anti-christ with a power that he mentally believes he has. 300 director Zack Snyder gives us another visually spectacular two-sided piece of art. Beautiful landscapes and wonder camera-work with brilliant performances all around makes this motion picture dare to be excessive. Snyder brings his passion for a visually stunning film along with non-cheesy dialogue like we got in 300. Instead we have Randall Wallace who delivers a superlative script that any director would want their hands on.

Jude Law is the forefront and is remarkable. At first very likable, wonderful chemistry with the town, and in one transition he becomes a tormented evil soul, sincerely convinced of his power, a man who has no boundaries but we can tell he still has a conscience, no other actor could convince us more then Law. A supporting cast doesn't hurt either with two notable performances with Clancy Brown and Mark Strong. Brown has proven to be a versatile actor and shows a wide range of ability in his role as Othi, a worthy family man that gets everything taken away from him, a broken heart that leads to a vicious blood hound while continuing to keep his free will. There is never a dull moment when Mark Strong is on cue. He's more then your typical soulless war villain, he's transformed himself into a demon serving his higher power, a brainwashed man under the service of the priest. Strong shows absolutely no remorse and almost expressionless when he plays his role as Andries.

Overall Tabula Rasa is an emotionally draining film that grabs a hold of you and never lets go until the ending credits. A film that will be looked at as a timeless classic. Many can say that the ending scene will go down as the most gripping end to a film in years. There's a sense of heroism to it. It's spelled-out and extremely effective. It's an intense, graphic, and beautiful look on greed, betrayal, love, devotion, and beliefs. One of the many scenes that makes Tabula Rasa into a worthwhile adventure.

Best Picture - Randall Wallace, Andrew Mason
Best Director - Zack Snyder
Best Actor - Jude Law
Best Supporting Actor - Clancy Brown
Best Supporting Actor - Mark Strong
Best Original Screenplay - Randall Wallace
Best Score - John Debney
Best Effects - Joe Letteri
Best Make-up - C.J. Goldman
Best Sound - Janty Yates

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