Monkey Reviews

Through the Eyes of A Chimp

Monkey Reviews
November 28, 2006
The Year of the Chimp – “Eve & The Fire Horse”

Legend has it that those who are born in the year of the Fire Horse bring destruction, chaos and bad luck on the household and in fact there is great fear that surrounds the birth of the child. Some parents will even go as far as to ensure the death of this child. So starts the movie, “Eve and the Fire Horse”. The parents never resort to killing Eve and in fact she is an endearing child who feels deeply, has a sense of wonder and spiritual curiosity and can see into the mystical side of things. Of course this doesn’t negate the chaos and the disequilibrium that comes from having a child who bears these qualities: seeing and feeling deeply usually portends tipping and upsetting the apple carts in our lives.

This movie is really not just about Eve but also about her sister. They are close in age (around 12 years old) and are in fact inseparable but the differences of personality and temperament between the two are miles apart which serves well in the telling of the tale. How the movie plays out the theme of chaos is in the area of religion. Eve and her family live surrounded by ritual and “spiritual magic”. Ensuring good luck is the driving force of this family and the Chinese culture; the more Gods the better. After all you can never have too much protection. This is the backdrop that invites Christianity into the household.

Without giving too much away, this movie is well versed in the legalities of religion – both in Buddhism and Christianity. The richness of the movie lies in the ability to point out the foibles of organized religion whether it’s eastern or western with both humour and compassion. In that way it is very unique and doesn’t opt for the usual stereotypical glossing over. As much as Eve believes she is cursed and tormented by dreams of fire horses this is also the very stuff of life. It is through these ominous murky waters of death and destruction, the legacy that fate has befallen on her, that light finally can shine through. It is a movie of dying, both physically and spiritually and ultimately how we are recreated through the pain and suffering of those deaths.

Rating: The Chimp loved this movie. It just so happens to be Canadian made. The story, the acting and the dialogue are all excellent and the weaving between this world and the other world is subtle in that it doesn’t feel technique-ish or contrived. It’s also on our hard drive so a burned DVD will be made available.