Issac's Review of La Voie lactée (The Milky Way)


  • 19 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
    La Voie lactée (The Milky Way)

    La Voie lactée (The Milky Way) (1969)

    My third venture into Luis Bunuel's repertoire, after THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE (1977, 8/10) and BELLE DE JOUR (1967, 8/10), THE MILKY WAY, which refers to "the road to St. James", depicts a trek of two vagabonds' pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, en route they meet a melange of characters converse about their religious outlooks and interweaving with anachronistic re-enactments (or mimicry) of the biblical figures, trying to expound the hidden messages about the elliptical realm of divinity, humanity and heresies.

    Religion is never my specialty, and the staccato narrative does remind me of Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Trilogy of Life", consists of terse vignettes or anecdotes, it seems the "reason" is never being considered as the director's prime option, all the impetus is purveyed by the re-created images and the Holy words (condescending, emotionless, authoritative), the two destitute pilgrims barely assume any obligation other than indicating a geographical route for the odyssey.

    There are some highlights (for me at least), the transubstantiation argument between an ex-priest who ran off from a mental-hospital and a science-endorsed brigadier; a highly-histrionic image of Death during a car accident after an unintentional swear; the Holy Mary miracle narrated by the Spanish priest, and the eerily surreal "whoever knocks don't open the door" episode, all come off intriguing for an agnostic's mind.

    The film adopts an authentic or natural sound recording, there is no use of concurrent music alongside, a barrage of religious parables may or may not reminisce the vicarious epiphany which the director deliberately intended, as a film under the belt of Luis Bunuel, I feel it is a pity I fail to find enough conspicuous worthiness in this film since the barricade lie between me and that spiritual world is rather too colossal.

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