The Prophet - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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The Prophet - Blu-ray Review

Title: The Prophet


HTS Overall Score:82

The book “The Prophet” has been around for almost one hundred years and is beloved by many as a spiritual inspiration at times, others it is poems about life, and to others still it is hint of a culture that has long changed and adapted from its roots. Published in 1923, the combined book of parables and poems has sold over 100 million copies worldwide in about every format of book possible. The audio tapes and CDs were immensely popular when I was growing up, and I knew of several people personally who owned them. I wasn’t introduced to the book until much later in life, being the type of personality who shies away from anything that’s universally loved out of “principals” (yes I know, I was silly young man). However I fell in love with the short book of poems instantly and eagerly looked forward to the movie when it was announced. Although, I did have some reservations due to the fact the book itself HAS no plot. It’s just a collection of poems and parables. There are some changes and tweaks done here and there, and the comparison to the book is kind of awkward at times, but overall the movie does an admirable job at capturing the spirit of Kahlil Gibran’s works.

“The Prophet” very well have never been made had it not been for the insistence of Salma Hayek. Growing up as a young girl she had read the book and it had greatly impacted her life. Less on a spiritual plane like so many others before her have claimed, but rather from the fact that to her it’s a reminder of her Lebanese Grandfather. A sort of “scent” that reminds you of home if you will. Due to the fact that “The Prophet” does not have an actually story, per se, there had to be some improvisation and creation on the side. What Director Roger Allers did was create a story of a man who was living under the harsh realities of oppression. A man who would create works (much like Gibran did) and use the overarching story to tie all of the poems together.

We start out with the tale of a struggling single mother Kamila (played by Salma Hayek) and her rather rambunctious daughter, Almitra (Quevenzhane Wallis), as Kamila cares for a prisoner by the name of Mustafa (Liam Neeson). There’s very little known about this Mustafa at first, but we do get to know Kamila and Almitra. Almitra is acting out as a result of her father passing away last year, and pretty much refuses to speak, but instead causes trouble in the marketplace and becomes an annoyance to everyone around her. That is until she meets Mustafa one day as her mother cooks and cleans for the house arrested man. However, today is the last day for his incarceration and Mustafa is to be set free and put on a ship to his home land.

As the grumpy and devious Sergeant of the guards escorts Mustafa to his ship, they encounter all of the people that Mustafa has touched the lives of over the years. It seems that he was more than just your average every day artist, and as the story unfolds you get to see that he was more of a prophet, or a wise man. A man whose words inspired thousands of people and touched thousands more as they relayed his messages across the land. However, that type of adoration by the people only leads to scrutiny by a government with too much power, and that is exactly why Mustafa has been stuck in jail these last 7 years. Every step Mustafa takes leads him one step closer to freedom, but those scrutinizing him have other plans for the popular speaker of wisdom.

“The Prophet” has a decent storyline, and you care about Mustafa, but the real purpose for the narrative framework is for the different poems and songs and parables that he tells to the villagers along the trek. In fact there were over 6 different directors directing each and every poem/parable throughout the movie and animating with a different style as well. That is where the real focus of the movie is. It’s powerful and sweet, mixing both a simple, yet serious, narrative for kids and adults alike while blending in the beauty of the original book as well. While the story is kind of awkward at times “The Prophet” acts as an introductory gateway for new fans to become introduced to a literary classic that has stood the test of time for 93 years.


Rated PG for thematic elements including some violence and sensual images

“The Prophet” enjoys a near flawless Blu-ray presentation that is a truly magnificent sight to behold. Filled with water color animations the movie is sharp and clear with every line free of any jaggies or errant brush strokes. There is sort of an abstract feel to the different styles of art shown throughout the different parables and poems, with each one showing a distinct difference as the directors switch roles throughout the movie. Colors are warm and vibrant, with a mix of golden browns and pastel blues to offset the rugged reds and greens and browns of the major storyline. Blacks are deep and inky, and I noticed no signs of crush or artifacting in even the darkest of scenes. A beautifully artistic film, and one whose Blu-ray transfer looks just as amazing.

The lone 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on the disc is no less impressive, while still not as shockingly “in your face” as some of the other 4.5/5 tracks I’ve reviewed. The dialog is always crisp and clear, without any signs of imperfections anywhere in the track. The rest of the audio is much more subtle, with the sounds of the villagers creeping through from different angles, as well as the low rumble that punctuates certain more entertaining portions of the movie. Such as when a wall of rolling watermelons upsets the Sergeant, or when firing squad is about to execute Mustafa. Surrounds are well situated and filled with the beautiful music of the more spiritual moments as well as the rushing wind between sheaves of wheat, or the crunch of gravel under booted feet. Dimensionality is superb, especially during the parables/poems, as they create a sense of envelopment that raises the track up to a higher level.


• Animating Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
• An Interview with Filmmakers
• Animatic


“The Prophet” is a bit more serious than your average kid’s movie, and really leans more towards adults and young adults rather than the little ones in your household. However, it is still innocent and simplistic enough with the created narrative framework for the poems that they will be able to watch right along with you without feeling bored. The excessive animation for the poems and parables is visual eye candy that works for both young and old alike, with plenty of pretty pictures for the young ones and a visual storytelling device for the adults as they see their favorite Gibran poem brought to life in front of them. Audio and video is simply magnificent, which allows me to recommend “The Prophet” as a good watch.

Additional Information:

Starring: Salma Hayek, John Krasinksi, Liam Neeson, Alfred Molina
Directed by: Roger Allers, Gaetan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar, Michael Socha
Written by: Roger Allers (Screenplay), Kahlil Gibran (Novel)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Studio: Universal
Rated: PG
Runtime: 85 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: February 2nd, 2016

Recommendation: Good Watch

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