Waiting For The Barbarians Review: Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson Starrer Is An Undiscovered Gem

Waiting For The Barbarians, starring Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson is a truly epic film not to be missed. Check out the REVIEW here!

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Waiting For The Barbarians Review: Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson Starrer Is  An Undiscovered Gem

Colombian director Ciro Guerra’s Waiting for The Barbarians is one of those rare miniature masterpiece which get submerged in acres of   anonymity and controversies. Whatever  the reasons,the film is a casualty of criminal neglect.   Guerra whose  Embrace The Serpent in 2015  ushered in exceptional talent, is wedded to  defining the  desecration  of  cultural heritage  by plunderers who call themselves colonists.

 The  epic film, starring Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson, Gana Bayarsaikhan, and Greta Scacchi,  is set at  a 19th  century outpost  of the British empire where a kindly overseer  simply known as  The Magistrate(Mark Rylance, that chameleon  of an actor whom we  never recognize  as he looks different in  every film)  looks  after soldiers.Things fall apart when soldiers arrive from outside to stir  up  an anarchic violence against  the  locals with catastrophic results.

 Rylance, breathing  life  into  every frame , is the  epicenter  of  the drama. His character’s  goodness  nobility and kindness are the soul of the  film. As we see  the world around him become inhuman  in their  tyrannical  passion to subjugate the native population, Rylance’s Magistrate shines like  a beacon of hope.

A  love story at  the centre of  the  plot  irrigates  the theme  of violent oppression. It  starts  when the Magistrate  finds a local  woman(Gana Bayarsaikhan) wandering in the outpost. Brutally tortured  with  her  ankles broken the Magistrate escorts  the girl into his  sleeping quarters and nurses her back to  health . He washes and  medicates her ankles in what seems like  a ritual of atonement on behalf of his entire oppressive race. This level of  self-effacement and selfless  devotion(the Magistrate never  has sex  with the girl even when she sleeps with him on the same bed) has never been in cinema.

 Director Ciro Guerra captures  the essence  of  Coetzee’s  novel. The film has  a deep resonant core  of humanism and compassion rarely seen in cinema. It also contains passages of  barbaric brutality  juxtaposed with a surreal sublimity.  Love  and hatred are seen as  strange  bedfellows in this drama  of  devastating beauty. Rylance  rules the  narrative  bringing to his ambivalent  character  both empathy and guilt  without  losing sight of his vulnerability and helplessness in the face  of a colonial  aggression  that is unstoppably  covetous.

This is a truly epic  film not to be  missed.

Image source: IMDb