Watch Mountains of the Moon
- 2 hr 16 min
Mountains of the Moon, released in 1990, is a historical adventure film directed by Bob Rafelson. The movie is based on the true story of Sir Richard Francis Burton, an English explorer and spy who, along with his partner John Hanning Speke, embarked on a treacherous journey to discover the source of the Nile River in the mid-19th century. The film opens with Burton, played by the talented Patrick Bergin, returning to England after a long and successful stint as an officer in the Indian Army. Burton, a man known for his keen intellect, insatiable curiosity, and his ability to speak more than 20 languages, is eager to undertake a new exploration. With the support of the Royal Geographical Society and funding from the British government, Burton sets off for East Africa. Burton's partner in the expedition is John Hanning Speke, portrayed by Iain Glen. Speke is a more straightforward, practical man, a hunter and adventurer who is eager to succeed in his quest for fame and fortune. Together, Burton and Speke travel through treacherous landscapes, encountering hostile tribes, and facing numerous dangers along the way. Throughout the journey, Burton and Speke's relationship is put to the test. They differ in their views on the purpose of their mission, their attitude towards the people they meet, and their personalities. Nevertheless, they continue their journey until they reach the elusive source of the Nile, a place that has fascinated and eluded explorers for centuries. The film's pacing is slow at times, but it gradually builds tension and suspense as the journey progresses, and the stakes become higher. The cinematography is stunning, with remarkable shots of the African landscape, and the score by Michael Small enhances the film's emotional depth. The performances of the cast are superb. Bergin's portrayal of Burton is nuanced and understated, capturing the character's intellect and wit, but also his vulnerabilities and insecurities. Richard E. Grant also delivers a strong performance as the demanding and arrogant President of the Royal Geographical Society, who puts pressure on Burton and Speke to succeed in their exploration. Mountains of the Moon is not just a thrilling adventure story; it also explores themes of colonialism, imperialism, and cultural differences. The film portrays the impact of Western explorers on African communities, and their disregard for the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the local people. There are moments where the film criticizes the exploitative practices of the colonial era, while also acknowledging the limitations and biases of the explorers themselves. Overall, Mountains of the Moon is a fascinating and engaging film that tells a remarkable story of exploration and discovery. It's not an easy watch, but it is rewarding for those who appreciate historical dramas and adventure films that explore deeper themes.