Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

Embrace of the Serpent Movie Review….…………………………….

Embrace of the SerpentĀ Movie Review

Embrace of the Serpent is a 2015 Colombian adventure film directed by Ciro Guerra and nominated for an Oscar. It is honestly a very disappointing film.

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Knowledge belongs to all.

You do not understand that. You are just a white man

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Embrace of the Serpent Movie Review

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The film takes place in 1909 and 1940 and both stories feature an Amazonian shaman. It is about a quest for the sacred plant. Yes, that premise alone is incredibly promising and intriguing, not to mention adventurous. But the execution of said premise is so disappointing and the film is not only rarely intriguing, but also rarely involving. Another problem is its lack of an adventurous tone which is why the movie succeeds much better as a drama than as an adventure flick.

Karamakate is a good character, but all of the others aren’t quite memorable. The acting is pretty solid and everyone here did a fine, albeit not that impressive job. The direction from Ciro Guerra is good at times, but mostly problematic and not quite clear.

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Embrace of the Serpent Movie Review

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Embrace of the Serpent is frankly put a boring movie. It is always tedious and too slow and I just wasn’t invested in it. Another big problem here is its documentary approach to storytelling which is too emphasized and annoying. The film definitely reminded me of ‘Aguirre, the Wrath of God‘ in that it is mostly boring, somewhat pretentious, too slow and way too disappointing in its use of setting and characters. Both movies are quite overrated and to me both were indescribably disappointing.

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Embrace of the Serpent Movie Review

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Yes, the setting here is never fully utilized which is a shame. The Amazonian jungle looks wonderful and I thought that the black and white cinematography here wasn’t quite satisfactory. Because the location is colorful and visually pleasing, the color photography would have been a much better choice, at least to me personally. But the cinematography here is still quite good and one of theĀ best things about the movie.

Embrace of the Serpent does look good, but the tone is too dramatic and not at all adventurous. It also isn’t that rich thematically speaking and the movie just doesn’t know what it wants to be as it shifts from documentary to adventure to drama in not that subtle ways. But the dialogue is solid and it has its moments. The highlights in terms of the scenes are the opening sequence which is quite memorable and the ending which is quite powerful and moving. But the middle parts are all either dull or sorely lacking in plot or character development which is frustratingly weak.

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Embrace of the Serpent Movie Review

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It is well edited, but never as emotional as it should have been. Its subject matter is interesting and relevant, but not properly explored. Everything here is very disappointing. It doesn’t mean that the film is bad as Embrace of the Serpent is a perfectly fine, okay film, but nothing here is great except maybe its visuals. It continued to disappoint me throughout its running time as the potential for greatness is wasted here. Also, its evident arthouse sensibilities bothered me as they were obvious and annoying. Overall, this movie frustrated me and I have to say that it is probably the weakest foreign film nominated for an Academy Award in 2015. So disappointing.

Embrace of the Serpent is an immensely disappointing movie. Its cinematography is good and it is an intriguing film not only in its setting and characters, but also visually. However, everything else is not great as the film is too slow and boring, the characterization and plot both should have been better and the film is too artistic for its own sake. It is perfectly fine, but it never uses its great premise particularly well and it is a giant wasted potential.

My Rating – 3

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Posted in 2010s, 2015, Adventure, Colombian, Drama, FILM DECADES, Foreign, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , .

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