maneleeo’s review published on Letterboxd:
Since I had been postponing this film for a while, I decided that it should be my first of 2021.
So, first thoughts. Just like "El Topo", this first part of the film was my favourite for all the crazy things going on. The second, let's say, half, which comprises two parts were not as good for me as the first, mostly because it deals with more symbolism or the absence of it. It's also a satirical take on society and the people in high places. While the first part is very Jodorowsky in nature, reminding me of films like "Fando y Lis" or "El Topo", the second part, despite of the bizarre and absurd imagery was more conforming in the nature of films from the 70's, returning back to that distinct Jodorowsky style on the last part.
It surprised me of how much it did not borrow from Christianity and Judiasm (althought it does take imagery from these religions). I was expecting the film to be a kind of retelling of the story of Jesus Christ, but Jodorowsky, and I say this as a compliment for originality, made something of his own. It's, for me and probably most people since this is the most basic interpretation of the film, a journey of enlightenment to achieve a God like status. This can be done by those who decide to venture and reach the Holy Mountain.
These people are the scum of the Earth in a sense, and they find in themselves the willpower to climb this mountain. And that's why, Jodorowsky does the move Bergman did in "Persona" and destroys the notion of film. It's thoroughly frustrating when a magician reveals its trick and suddenly the magic is gone. But after the frustration, comes the lesson... this is only a film, it's not reality. We can use cinema to understand what others try to tell us and to find in ourselves things we did not expect to find. Just like reaching the Holy Mountain is a form of spiritual enlightenment, finishing a film and reflecting on it can also be.
Great way to start a new year!