Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man

MPAA Rating: G

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3 1/2

This visually magnificent 3D IMAX film features the famous acrobat troupe, "Cirque du Soleil." Lasting only 38 minutes, it follows the various stages of man's journey through life, beginning with cavemen beating primitive drums. Narrated by Ian McKellen, a young boy's (Brian Dewhurst) journey starts with life in the womb, interpreted by acrobats performing a water ballet. At birth, the boy is propelled out of the sea into a forest setting where bright yellow bungee-bouncing birds transport him to the first of several life adventures. The boy's fear becomes courage, and he eventually develops strength that transforms him into manhood. Each stage of life is beautifully illustrated by breathtaking, graceful acrobatic acts. Audiences become immersed in the center of the settings with the aid of furnished special, 3D eyeglasses. Adding to this mesmerizing event is a wonderful musical score by Benoit Jutras. While young children will not understand the metaphoric JOURNEY OF MAN, they will be completely absorbed by the Cirque du Soleil's unbelievable beautiful, graceful movements.

Some interpret the film as embracing the theory of evolution, especially since the opening scene features cavemen, and the water ballet might imply that man evolved from water creatures. However, a baby begins life in the fluid of the mother's womb, so controversial theories are left to personal belief and choice of interpretation since none is verbalized. In the forest, the boy is accompanied by two clowns, who influence him throughout his journey. The adventurous male clown urges the boy to explore the world, but the protective female tries to hold the boy back. A Variety review describes these clowns as humanistic good angel vs. bad angel. But to the average moviegoer, the two act like typical parents. In the final segment, the boy becomes a mature man (Brian Dewhurst), who expresses three essential life elements: dreams, faith and love. Completely void of violence, sex, nudity, or foul language, JOURNEY OF MAN can be recommended for all audiences. The metaphors and symbolism might lift a few eyebrows, but they are very subdued and way too sophisticated for young children to grasp.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Sony Pictures Classics, 550 Madison Ave., 8th Floor, NY, NY 10022

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Symbolism and metaphors may be interpreted as humanistic; beginning of life could imply man evolved from sea

Running Time: 38 minutes
Intended Audience: All ages

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