Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Review - The Mission

Each Sunday for the next while, I intend to do a small review of a film.
The film with have some Faustian or Redemptive nature to it and could be from any period.

If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to email me with them, or even post them below :)

This week's selection is the 1986 classic 'The Mission' starring   Robert De NiroJeremy Irons and Ray McAnally also a young Liam Neeson among others.

The Mission is an award winning film that captures a man's fall and return to grace.
 It is an inspiring film, but it has very dark moments.
The films story hinges on the relation between a former slaver/slave trader (DeNiro) and a Jesuit Missionary living in the jungles of south America with the Indians that are being enslaved. The story takes place during the colonial period in the 18th century, in a region (now Brasil) that is being transferred from Spanish to Portuguese control.
DeNiro's character, Rodrigo Mendoza,  is a wealthy former conquistador gone slaver who is in love with a woman, who is in turn, in love with his younger and foppish brother Felipe (played very well by Aidan Quinn).
There is a duel, and Rodrigo kills young Felipe in his jealous rage.
Rodrigo is destroyed by this act. He literally loses the will to live as he rots in prison.
After a while he befriends a Jesuit Missionary Priest who was once his adversary.
So he declares himself converted and makes penance by climbing the sheer face of a waterfall with all his armour and weapons tied to his back. It is an incredible bit of cinema and DeNiro is fantastic at his role.
Soon the men find themselves at the Remote Mission working and living with the local 'Indians' or natives.
The story develops as the news of the transfer of power seals the fate of the local tribes.
They are to be delivered or surrender as slaves for the Portuguese governor in the name of the Portuguese crown. The Missionaries seek help from the Church, but it's power is over ruled. Even the converted 'Indians' are not to be spared this fate.
So, Rodrigo the soldier gone slaver, gone Jesuit - has to return to be being a soldier once again and try to defend the villages the only way he knows how.
An amazing film with an intriguing plot and a profound ending.
A must see for all lovers of cinema and an excellent story of redemption.


  1. Great old movie. Where is this weeks?

    1. LOL
      Sorry Brad. I keep getting swamped at the LFB. More to come!


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