Timeless Classics: World Cinema – The Message (1977)
The Message (1977)
Director: Moustapha Akkad
Cast: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas and Michael Ansara
This movie raised a lot of controversy while being made and after being released. Director Mustafa Akkad had to hire 4-5 Islamic clergymen to make it correctly. In the end movie came out as a definite winner. Personally, I don’t follow any particular religion.Just try to absorb the correctly interpreted, justified things in them. Which are more or less similar in all the religions! The Message shows you the way to a correct and higher living like Ten Commandments, Bible, Ramayan etc. The movie depicts the birth of Islam and why the world needed the guidance of Quran. At a materialistic level it focuses on circumstances that led to Islams origin viz. idol worship, pitiful state of women and poor in 600 A.D.
If you always wonder why Prophet Mohammed is never given a physical form, then watch this movie carefully and interpret it correctly – You will have the answer. My interpretation is as follows:
“Prophet Mohammed received the Message of God through Gabriel.He wanted the world to know the message but wasn’t willing that his physical form be worshiped directly. In the time of Prophet idol worship was at its zenith and was being used by rich people in society inappropriately, like it was by Roman empire before arrival of Jesus. So if Prophet was also idolised then his mission would have proven to be futile.Instead, he preferred the message be given in form of Quran, sans any idol worship.”
The Message (1977) – Full Movie.
Best part about the movie was direction. Director gave the exact message in such an intact manner. For example, he showed in a scene how a mother/woman starts believing in Prophet. That was simply perfect and covered the need of showing how and why others start following the Prophet. Genius of the director. It was a marvellous feeling to witness first Mecca-Medina Hujh through the medium of a movie. The origin of Islamic prayer-call has been explained beautifully in the movie.Some praying places use bell, some trumpet but here it was decided that a strong human voice would be used to call-on followers for offering their prayers. This scene is awesome as well.You actually feel like praying! There was also a battle scene and Prophet also took part in it, which was the need of the hour and hence justified. Lord Krishna, Guru Nanak and many others approved such a justified battle. Some spiritual figures used battle and some used miracles, like Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha to make men realise the extent of ultimate supreme power. (One reason I adore Mahatma Gandhi he used neither!!) Choreography, according to time-period and technology, is good Acting is nothing spectacular but precise. Though Anthony Quinn is a revelation as always! It’s a director’s movie.He has succeeded in saying what he wanted.