The Day the Earth Stood Still

It was my day off, I get a discount as a “City Screen” member, so relaxing in front of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ seemed like a good idea. Some critics have slated it but I wonder what they expected. It is a remake of a 1950s ‘B movie’ so I already knew the story, didn’t they?

I enjoyed the effects and found Keanu Reeves convincing as an alien living in an uncomfortable human body. He is ideal for the part. There is a comment about the strangeness of the name of the alien, Kiatu. I think Keanu is just as strange.

It was not quite as mindless as I expected though. It turned out to be interesting for the portrayal of a world view i do not share. I think little science fiction is about the future, it is really about the present viewed from a different perspective.

In this film death was handled in a hopeless way. By hopeless I am referring to the words of the Aposle Paul when he said that Christians do not grieve as those who have no hope. To a heart-broken child at the grave of his lost father, the best comfort offered was that nothing truly dies, that the universe recycles everything. What comfort is that from an alien supposedly superior in wisdom, knowledge and evolutionary advancement? Those I love will become compost! Is that the best he could come up with? Compare that with the words of Job in the Old Testament, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”

People do die in this film, rather a lot of them, yet it appeared we were not invited to get attached to them or value them as characters.

All in all then, it left me with lots to think about. Would I recommend it? Yes but with the warning that the story is uncomplicated, there is little surprise if you already know the story, and there is little character development.

One thought on “The Day the Earth Stood Still

  1. Yes, The movie was supposed to be be a representation of Jesus Christ, at least that was what I read about the first one in the 50’s. However, they “contemporize” the narrative with today’s pro-environment discourse whereas in the first the Jesus-type protagonist fitted better with the real ONE because it preached peace, just peace, in the midst of a Cold War scenario. However, you could still see some hints that the guy, Kiatu, was really trying to be the Jesus-like boy. Among many examples the one that really struck me was the final part when as Keanu Reeves, convinced to forgive humanity, walks towards the starship posing and positioning his arms and body like he was carrying something which I understood was a cross….maybe they did not intend to do it, but that’s what I saw and i think it really looked like it.
    As you said, the answer to the little boy was not good enough coming from a “superior being” and someone compared to Christ – in the mind of the screenwriter of the first movie -. This always makes me think that the only one who can actually and fully be to all extent Holy, the Great I AM, the King of Kings, the Lord of Glory, the Redeemer of the World, the Word of God and Eternal is Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah. The others fail, of courses, because they are created by men. For example, Aslan saves only the people in Narnia as far as I am concerned. What about the people who live out of the wardrobe?
    I mean, i am not questioning anyone, maybe it’s just one silly observation coming from me. But, over all , I liked the movie.
    I was actually going to send you the review of the movie when I read about it, but i did not have your e-mail nor the morning sheet given at the church on sunday. Now I have.

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