|Ratings||UK: 18, USA:|
|Source of story||An original screenplay|
|Writers/Script||Mel Gibson, Farhad Safinia|
|Starring||Rudy Youngblood, Morris Birdyellowhead, Dalia Hernandez, Raoul Max Trujillo,|
|Ratings||IMDb: 7.8 by 291,375 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 66% by 199 critics.|
Elevator Pitch: In what is now Mexico a small group of men, dressed in loincloths, chase a tapir through jungle and eventually it is impaled by stakes when a trap is sprung. They return to their village but within days they are attacked by a group of warriors who kill some and take the rest into captivity, leaving the children in the forest. One of the villagers manages to hide his wife in a deep hole in the ground. They are taken to a city featuring a number of pyramids, where slaves are used to create lime and where some of the group are sacrificed. Others are given a chance to escape but are used as targets. Finally Jaguar Paw, whose wife is still in the hole in the ground, filling up with water, is chased through the jungle by those who had originally captured him.
Content: There is just a bit of actual nudity and an inference of sex. Once the natives are captured they experience continuous hardship as they are taken to the city. In the city some are almost immediately sacrificed and others are used as targets as they are encouraged to run away. One manages to get away but since he has killed the warrior leader’s son, he is chased through the jungle, overcoming a variety of obstacles, including a jaguar and having to leap over a waterfall. At the end Spanish ships are seen off the coast.
A View: I have failed to mention that the language used in the film is a version of Mayan, in my case with Spanish subtitles. It was well liked by the critics, other directors and the public and was nominated in three Oscars categories. Once I had got used to the language, or lack of it and had got a handle on the story it was fascinating and in the end full of tension as the villains close in on the hero who we are pleased to see, has special skills. It is violent and I had to look away occasionally, but I have made it an ALMOST MUST SEE.
Additional Info: When they were filming at the waterfall a cow accidentally fell over and they thought it was a gonner. But at the bottom a local swam out and calmed it, and once on shore it continued grazing as if nothing had happened.