Monday, August 3, 2015
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (2014) A Film by Roger Allers
"As a screen star, especially in his recent action renaissance, Liam Neeson has proven to be as much a voice as a body or a face. His low, slightly gravelly intonation and terse dialogue delivery is as unmistakable a component of his persona as the pistol whips and lumbering physicality. So, as the voice for the title character in Roger Allers's animated adaptation of Kahlil Gibran's slim but iconic collection of prose poems, The Prophet, he instantly stands out. The titular prophet, an endlessly generating fount of wisdom for his unenlightened peers, is an incarcerated poet named Mustafa, who launches into humbling oratories on the interconnected nature of the human race and the natural world whenever given the slightest of opportunities, digressions that take form as non-narrative animated segments set to Neeson's voiceover. Because of this frequent separation of the actor's voice and his character drawing, it's hard to escape the impression of a metatext: The Prophet basically amounts to a series of instances of Neeson—the Bronson-esque badass repackaged as a smooth-talking life coach—schooling the audience in pop-transcendentalist philosophy, indulged as excuses for Allers and his distinguished team of artists to unleash torrents of abstract animation."