The Legend of Tarzan: On Universal Themes of Love, Greed, and the Search for Truth

Retelling a story that is known by all generations is a tough job. Retelling it in a way that doesn’t bore the audience is an even more arduous task.

There have already been many movies about the ape-man, making Tarzan one of the most well-known fictional characters in literature. However, most people don’t really know the story behind the Lord of the Jungle and that is what I felt David Yates was able to do with one of the must-awaited films of 2016: let people know the true legend of Tarzan.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!!!

For a story and character as big as this one, it takes a lot to weave a good enough storyline that will capture viewers. It needs to be so poignant, it latches onto the viewers’ minds within the first few frames.

The Legend of Tarzan - Tarzan and Jane

The Legend of Tarzan was able to do that, not only by how his story was told but mainly by how the movie spoke to the audience using messages that are universal and relevant to these times.

Greed

Greed pulls people into a dangerous whirlpool of deceit, usurpation, and violence; and it often leads to a never-ending cycle of misfortune for anyone that gets caught in it.

King Leopold desperately needs money, so he commands his envoy Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz), to seek the diamonds of Opar. Unfortunately, the diamonds are under the possession of the vengeful Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), who wants Tarzan’s head on a plate.

Rom sets out on an elaborate plan to deceive Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard), who now goes by the name of John Clayton, Earl of Greystoke, and bring him to his enemy’s hands. Along the way, the seemingly quiet man enslaves natives, burns villages, and massacres apes to get what he wants.

Revenge

Fueled by vengeance for the death of his son, Chief Mbonga unknowingly endangers his tribe and the entire Congo by aligning himself with the Belgian envoy.

Love and the Search for Truth

Tarzan was in a desperate situation. His wife Jane (Margot Robbie) was captured and the place he called home was in danger. With only his wits, primal instincts, and intense love for those he cared about, Tarzan sets out on a rescue mission, aided by both humans and the Congo wildlife.

His love for country pushes George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) to go to Congo in search of the truth. It is a dangerous journey, especially with his limited skills, yet he braves the jungle to help his friend and seek out the truth.

In the end, love and truth prevail. They didn’t come easy, but they won. And that, for me, was what the true appeal of the movie. The movie spoke in a language that all of us speak and understand.

That’s probably why everyone inside Greenbelt’s Cinema 2 didn’t miss anything on the screen. The Legend of Tarzan isn’t as spectacular as the other movies this year but it managed to effectively tell a story in an enthralling manner.

Thanks to our friends at Warner Bros Pictures and Greenbelt Cinemas for inviting us to the special screening. The Legend of Tarzan is now showing in cinemas.

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