El Topo(1970)...The surrealistic bizarre film

To see a movie like El Topo needs a strong mind. Why? Simply because the film is one amongst the most bizarre i have ever seen. Except this the reason to see the movie was my full faith in the director Alexandro Jodorowsky's ability of creating such surreal film as i have seen Holy mountain(another bizarre surrealistic movie!) before(is one of my favorite as well) and of course my growing interest towards seeing surrealistic movies(i've only seen 4 till).

El Topo in Spanish means "THE MOLE". According to the movie "THE MOLE IS AN ANIMAL THAT DIGS TUNNELS UNDERGROUND SEARCHING FOR THE SUN.SOMETIMES HIS JOURNEY LEADS HIM TO THE SURFACE.WHEN HE LOOKS AT THE SUN, HE IS BLINDED." Alejandro Jodorowsky himself plays the role of a gunfighter named "El Topo" and the film is about his quest for eternity. Now you know how does it compare the mole symbolically. A man starts his journey on a horse carrying his naked little child on his backside. He goes through the sand and reaches a spot where he can tie the horse. He carries the photo of his wife and his child's first toys along with him in a bag. He asks his son to get rid of both by burying them and become a man. He plays a flute while his son is burying them. Some astonishing and sometimes weird background score is audible throughout the film. While they move along the desert and reaches a door, they hear the cries of vultures. There we could see brutally murdered people and animals throughout. Some are even hang to death or hanged themselves. The blood is spread all over the place creating a bizarre and at the sametime a visually extravagant imagery. It seemed like the animals are killed in real for the film stuff(Is it?).
He asks a man who is the only one left on there undead about the one who did all this. But he didn't get any answer. Upon his request, he hands the gun to his son and he shots him to death. The journey continues.

Along the way the movie shows 3 bandits with 3 peculiar characters.Am not mentioning the first one's character. The second one is seen near a cactus, where he peels a banana over the cactus and takes his sword and flashes it vigorously cutting the banana into pieces and eats each piece one by one using a stick. The third one creates an image of woman using beans. He assumes it like a living one and acts as if he is possessing her. The bandits reach him as they see the diamond ring(which he got from the man his son shot earlier). This was another beautiful shot in the movie. One bandit inflates a balloon and ties its end loosely.The second one checks this and gives to the third. The three men were facing El topo all this time. All of them were on horse. The balloon is placed in between the group of three and 'El Topo' . As the balloon is loosely tied(i assume so) it slowly deflates with a whistle. The 4 of them puts a hand on top of their gun placed in their pockets. Here the viewer can make the guess that the three gunfighters would shot El Topo as the balloon inflates fully. And it happens, but before any of them could shot he shots the two men on horse on the left and right side and catches the middle one and asks...Who? He replies "the Colonel". El Topo continues his search for Colonel, meets him and kills him. Before shooting him he makes the colonel stand on his innerware and suddenly he felt like he lost all the power and his slaves starts making him funny symbolising the fact that everyone is powerless under their aura. Shooting Colonel means freeing the nun and other 4 monks they were using for their never ending lust. The nun starts falls in love with 'El Topo' and he moves with her leaving his son with the monks.

Now the real journey of extreme form of life starts as he needs to find the 4 masters of the sand and kill them to marry her . She is no longer a nun, who starts to enjoy every bit of life. The audience are seen her enjoying things around her as she gets freed from her slavery. The scenes are accompanied by 'El Topo' playing his flute. Again another set scenes that are really beautiful(not bizarre at this time!). The search for the masters becomes really interesting as each masters are weird human beings. Its about how he finds them and how they teach him the different aspects of life seen from a different view point. His journey for eternity continues. Am not going to spoil the experience giving anything too much.

Some things that could be seen most common throughout his films were the use of dwarfs, deficient people, lot of blood, lot of creatures, animals,dust etc... In this movie you could see two assistants(or one?) of the first master. These are dwarfs with one having no hands and other with no legs. They walk as a single man with the man without leg clutching on the hip of the man without hands and together they behave as a single man. Strange yet was good imagery.

Some facts about 'El Topo'. I have gone through the commentary Jorodowsky given and some videos and found that until 2007 it wasn't released on DVD!. Up to then it was playing on midnight movies for sometime after its release due to the provocative content. Later demands are raised and film gradually become a cult surrealistic film and began showing in theatres.Correct me if am wrong. Caution: the film is strictly for mature audience due to the provocative content.

OneLine:Extreme surrealistic with bizarre and beautiful scenes.



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