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The Ninth Gate (2000), (R)
CAP Score: 39
CAP Influence Density: 1.17
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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objectuve and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.
SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
*The Ninth Gate* (R) -- an unholy mumbo-jumbo and Satanic worship movie.
Johnny Depp is not a cop nor a scissor man in this one. In this movie Depp reminds me of Rolland, the Doonesbury(tm) newspaper comics characters; a character of relative morals.
Depp is Dean Corso, a dealer in rare books. Corso and Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) collide as Balkan with ulterior motives hires Corso to verify the authenticity of his copy of only three known volumes of "The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of the Shadows" written in 1666 by Venetian Aristide Torchia. And there lie a couple signals about this movie: the "kingdom of shadows" and 1666. Now whom amongst us can put those two signals together and come up with a conclusion? What is it that light does to shadows. Can the shadows withstand the light? [John 1:5 "And the light (Jesus) shineth in darkness (shadows, evil); and the darkness comprehended it not (scattered from the Light)" and John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness (not live with pending condemnation), but shall have the light of life (life with assurance of everlasting Life in Heaven)."] And I suppose there were books written in 1666 but I'll bet that year was intentionally selected for this movie because of that powerful tool of influence called suggestion by implication. As the story goes, Torchia, who was torched in the Spanish Inquisition placed in the three copies amongst many etchings the nine which were reported to have been prepared by Satan himself.
Of the three copies of the book, Balkan has one which he bought from Andrew Telfer who hanged himself shortly after selling the book. Telfer's wife, Liana wants the book back but for not-so-righteous reasons. Liana is a Satan worshipper with all the accouterments of such: the black head-to-toe garb; the upside-down pentagram/pentacle indicating Second Degree Initiation (see Back to School Special); the incantations to Satan; the hidden and explosive vicious demonic behavior. The pentagram was also the symbol on the cover of the book, which is also the symbol on the cover Anton LeVey's Satanic bible.
Corso meets the owners of the other two copies of the book in Europe. One is a Portuguese gentleman of stately renown. The other is a wealthy Parisian baroness, a feisty old lady who is confined to a wheelchair. The baroness claims she knows more about the content of the book than anyone else and initially would not let Corso examine her copy. But after completing inspections of the two copies, Corso finds that most of the etchings are signed "AT" for Aristide Torchia but that nine of the etchings, three in each of the three volumes, have "LCF" as the artist. LCF is certainly a catchy set of initials but only if you recall one of Satan's names, Lucifer. I guess if you gotta chose one of his names, Lucifer would be as appropriate as any other. Maybe the "logic and flow" of the plot could have been as meaningful using "BZB" or "ADV" or "BST" or "TEO."
In his travels, Corso meets up with a shadow he can't shake (Emmanuelle Seigner). Her name is not given but she graphically shows you that which only her husband should see, and together she and Depp do a thing that should only be done between husband and wife. Oh yeah! Almost forgot. Liana Telfer and Corso show a couple things, too. Though one of the "things" is not seen, there again is that powerful influence tool called suggestion by implication plus explicit lead-in. Corso's "shadow" indeed saves his bacon a couple times but she acts definitely evil at times. She even levitates herself off a riverfront walkway staircase and off a balcony -- and it was NOT "Mary Poppins" levitation. She even appears and disappears. So, what is she to Corso other than a chance for immoral sex? Her motives are not revealed.
Following a Satanic ritual and a series of unethical maneuvers, Balkan comes into possession of all nine of the etchings with the initials LCF, then proceeds to set up another ritual to conjure up Satan and/or his powers of evil and darkness using the nine etchings. To prove to Corso, who was witnessing the ritual, that the ritual and the nine etchings indeed gave Balkan the powers of Satan, Balkan sets fire to himself and boasts of "I don't feel a thing" -- until reality sets in. After cooking for a few minutes, Corso performs a firearm mercy killing of Balkan and takes the etchings. As the story goes, one of the nine etchings was a fake which is why Balkan burned. Later, after more investigation, Corso finds the "real" ninth etching as it floats to his feet.
At the end, after gaining possession of all nine etchings, Corso walks through a "gate" (the huge doors of a castle) into a blinding white light. What implication is there? The implication is drawn from calling on memories of all the stories of people having near-death and after-death-come-back-to-life experiences telling of seeing a "beckoning" blinding white light, implying Heaven or Jesus since Jesus is the Light of Life [John 8:12], thus giving all the Satanic mumbo jumbo up to this point a "victorious" or benevolent appearance, which is exchanging Truth for lies. And what might that do to the impressionable or the uniformed regarding what the Bible tells us of Satan and Hell?
So many of our visitors seem to be relying only on this Summary/Commentary for a full assessment of this movie. This is not possible. For the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie, visit the Findings/Scoring section below.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):