"Trying to control isn't the answer. When we find the true `God Experience', the fight over whose religion is best--it fades. There's just one truth." - From the movie
A New York Times best-selling book published in 1993, The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield has sold 14 million copies and has been translated in over 45 languages. Written in novel form, The Celestine Prophecy describes the synchronistic adventures of John Woodson as he travels to Peru to find out more about an ancient prophecy that describes modern life in startling detail--as well as the future evolutionary path of humanity. While there, he meets up with Father Jose, guardian of the scrolls, as well as others who are dedicated to disseminating the transformative nine Insights found in the Celestine Prophecy.
Redfield had wanted to make a movie version of The Celestine Prophecy, but despite offers from several big studios, the timing didn't feel right. In the spirit of the book, which advocates following intuition and gut hunches towards a more aware, purposeful life, Redfield waited--and now the time has come for the film to be birthed into the world.
After seeing the Indigo movie debacle and the mediocre acting in What the Bleep Do We Know!?, I admit that I didn't hold much hope for the movie version of The Celestine Prophecy. However, after watching the film and its special features last night, I was surprised and delighted at the results.
The Celestine Prophecy was one of the first "New Age" books I read while in the process of coming out of organized religion as both an adherent and a minister. It's been years since I read it, but I remembered that the prose was a bit clunky and didactic, but the information on synchronicity, auras, and control dramas were spiritual gold. I was especially impressed with the types of relationship control dramas humans use to "steal" energy until they learn to tap into their own internal reservoir.
Because the novel was heavily instructional (as I recall), I figured that the movie would be more "telling" than "showing"--one of the biggest mistakes a writer can make. Yet, Redfield's screenplay was utterly elegant--translating the nine Insights into a compelling demonstration that both the characters and audience experience for themselves. For example, instead of explaining the types of control dramas, one scene shows John trying to coerce Marjorie into getting together with him. Through seamless special effects, we see his red aura extending and then encroaching upon Marjorie's shrinking blue aura. John is new to the world of energy, and through interactions with Father Sanchez, Wil, Julia and the other characters, he learns what it means to generate energy for himself through openness and awareness.
Another example of "showing" instead of telling occurs when the characters vibrate to such a level that they become invisible. Rather than explain to the viewers about vibration (in fact, I don't even think the word "vibration" is used in the movie!), we are shown how focused intent and awareness made them invisible to the violent Peruvian rebels and corrupt law enforcement agents.
The beautiful musical score supported gorgeous cinematography and first-rate acting. Next to the screenplay, perhaps this was the most surprising of all: the convincing performances by a fine set of actors. Annabeth Gish, resembling a young Sigourney Weaver, looked so familiar to me--and then my husband pointed out that we had just seen her in the holiday TV movie Candles on Bay Street. The actors who played Father Sanchez, Wil, and Jensen were especially compelling, and while watching the performance of Sarah Wayne Callies, I had the thought "Boy, she would have been a much better Lois Lane than Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns."
Perhaps one reason these actors were so amazing was because Redfield wanted, specifically, actors that were on a spiritual path that would "get" the gist of The Celestine Prophecy movie. (Needless to say, Hollywood would have royally botched this movie.) One by one, the players came to HIM, as we find out in the special features. Especially intriguing was how actor Thomas Kretschmann, who plays Wil, relied on intuition and hunches to escape East Germany as a youth. He felt to talk to someone on the street and this person happened to be a central cog in the underground railroad that smuggled individuals across the Iron Curtain into the West. Because Kretschmann "lives" by following intuition, his character was even more believable. In fact, in less deft hands, Wil could have come across as superior and preachy--but this fine actor portrays his character as humble, wise, and laissez faire.
On a personal note, I had three synchronistic events happen to me concerning The Celestine Prophecy movie:
1. A few days ago, I received in the mail The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart. Unaware of the book, I hadn't even requested a copy from the publisher. Yet, somehow, someone in the publicity department of a major publisher had my name and address--and sent me the book. I'm four chapters into this book and it's extraordinary: if you're scientifically minded and want "proof" for the Insights that Redfield writes about--especially the reality of energy, light, and consciousness in living organisms--you MUST get this book.
2. While watching the special features of this film, Redfield mentions that Barnet Baine produced the movie What Dreams May Come. I received only one DVD for Christmas (from my husband), and guess what it was?
3. Last night, I was taking a bath and was debating on watching The Celestine Prophecy (I had the film for a week, but couldn't bring myself to watch it just yet). I opened up my copy of New Age Retailer that I received in the mail that day, and guess what I turned to? A full-page ad for The Celestine Prophecy movie!
Several of the inspiring truths found in this movie include:
* Follow hunches!
* Instead of taking energy, give it.
* We are helped--we are not alone.
* Wonderment can be restored--and curious, fearless living opens unexpected doors.
* Powerful change is coming in the world--and the shift has already begun.
* "The guidance within evolves the world towards a heaven that is already here. To know this is to know our destiny."
In addition to serving as a wonderful reminder for those familiar with the book, The Celestine Prophecy movie provides a gentle, intriguing introduction to those unfamiliar with the subtle world of energy, "coincidences", and power/control. Bravo, Redfield and company, for doing such a fine job on this film!
(Note: This DVD includes both Widescreen and Full Screen versions and includes The Making of the Celestine Prophecy--interviews with Redfield, the actors, producers, etc. The movie is about 90 minutes long and is rated PG for violence. In my opinion, the violence/shooting is closer to PG-13, so you may want to watch it first before introducing it to young children.)