Really? Are we really supposed to believe Daniel Day Lewis to be a Native American? A white person to be a mocha-skinned Mohican? So much about this film distracted me from its intended purpose (which is to give, based on the adventure tales of James Fenimore Cooper, the most profound insight possible into the Native American-British alliance during the Seven-Years War). There was poor acting, lack of continuity, some historical inaccuracies, and on top of that…it was flat out boring.
In class, Dr. McClurken gave a riveting blurb on his thoughts about the film. One of his main points was how this movie captured the dualism that Cooper implemented in his novels, specifically the perception of the Indians (those allied with both the French and the English) as noble savages vs. evil savages. However, I what I liked the most about his speech was his argument that Last of the Mohicans is more of a primary source for the time period (1990’s) rather than a secondary source for the 1700’s and the book. What I felt he was basically saying was that the movie (and I am of course referring to Fenimore’s books as well) took a historical event, developed fictional characters, and created a storyline out of it. The difference between the book and the movie, McClurken says, is that the film is a romance novel (for the 90’s) that was meant to deviate from the book. I agree with him because I feel that his points correlate with my main point in my last post (about Pocahontas) that the film industry’s primary purpose is to entertain, and then educate (if necessary). Unfortunately, Last of the Mohicans struggled to do both.
N.B. McClurken made a very clever joke about the movie during his speech. When he said the movie was a primary source for the 90’s instead of a secondary source for the book, he followed that that was like having George Washington throw out the first pitch of a Washington Senators baseball game in the 1800’s: there was a GW, there was baseball, there was a Wash. Senators, and there was an 1800’s. Hilarious.Tags: 2008hist329