Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Elephant Man

The other day I saw David Lynch's "The elephant Man" for the first time I got more .... much more than I expected from the short reviews posted to and fro on the net that connect us. Photographed in greyscale, with a highly symbolic light and grain scheme; and ... above all .... with John Hurt's (John Merric) and Anthony hopkins' (Sir Frederick Treeves) role-plays this film takes us easily and absorbingly into the realm of the interior (the sensitive mind) and a reactive exterior (the centre of the world), the Victorian London. Before our eyes gradually unfolds a beautiful mind covered in repulsive deformities; and an aberration of nature truly becomes an angel. This film may carry a christian message to some viewers; but it is quite possible to get at it from a totally existential point of view. The birth was not in his hands, but it was Merric himself who revealed his core (remember he journeyed through the continent to London alone, when he fled from Bytes), our Doctor merely assisted him by love. However, to me this film carries the message of racism and class over the other possible ways of seeing. In Victorian England the 'scientific' study of eugenics was first initiated by Darwin's false disciples like Galton and Spencer. And that validated the 'society's mockery and torture of 'sub-human' races and classes of man. Lynch, in the film, started his journey from that societal structure. The end, however, is like a fairy-tale ending. But isn't it only right to dream in your mind's eye when all other ways are barred? I get an inspiration to live whenever I watch or merely think of this film ---- the true story of how a banal 'elephantine' existence was overridden by a mind that 'loved'.