Reviewed by: Greg Mueller

Greg's Score:
5.75

Plot/Story

2

Characters

2

Acting

5

Cinematography

9

Production Design

9

Soundtrack

9

Execution

5

Emotional Impact

5


Review:

I think just isn't a movie for me. It's like going to an art museum and walking through the modern art wing. I'll look at one painting and think "Okay, I feel like I get what the artist was going for" and then I'll move to the next painting and think "Well, It looks interesting, but I'm not picking up what they're putting down with this one" and the next painting I'll think "That's just pure shit. What the Hell is that supposed to be?". This was my experience with The Holy Mountain. It was a series of scenes of varying quality with no real through line. I love Alejandro Jodorowsky for his spirit and passion and there wasn't a single scene that I didn't feel those things shining through. I can tell each shot is meticulously arranged and has something to say. As a viewer, however, it never came across as a real movie. The Holy Mountain is nonsensical on the whole, but there are scenes where I can decipher the message he's trying to get across and far, far more scenes where I just get nothing. It's clear that there are levels upon levels of symbolism that require much more work to figure out than I am willing to put in. I'm seeing the tarot card on the back of the guy with no legs. but I don't know what that card means and I don't care enough to Google it out just to better understand this one scene. Jodorowsky put so much effort into what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it, but I don't think he was half as concerned with if his audience is going to be able to understand it. "It's not a movie hat's actually about the story;everything is symbolic and allegorical. It's about the message and the art!" Yeah, okay, sure, but you can do that in a actual story with understandable plot lines and real characters. Of the 115 minutes, I was enjoying myself for about 15 minutes total and spent the other 100 minutes utterly confused and lost. It is definitely a film with great cinematography and there are so many beautiful backgrounds and sets, but two days later all I can really remember are pictures and a few vague memories of jokes. I would have gotten just as much out of one of those big coffee table books The Art of <whatever film>. The Holy Mountain is great on every technical level and Jodorowsky's passion is smeared all over this film, but it's just not a good overall story and it's not much of a film. It is an entirely unique movie and there are tons of things to pull from it, but it's a case of being less than the sum of its parts. There is an audience for The Holy Mountain, but I can confidently say that most people are not in that audience.