“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” Sorry about that, but it’s required to put that quote into every discussion of this film.
It’s funny, if I hadn’t stumbled across this girl Amy’s blog I might not have been in the right mindset to pick up on all the religious imagery in this film.
The film begins with Luke cutting the heads off of parking meters. Soon he is in a hellish chain gang in the South. Shortly thereafter the other members of the gang begin to grow to like him. As the film goes on we see things that begin to make it clear that he is supposed to be a Christ like figure for these prisoners. For example, after eating the 50 eggs he ends up in a Jesus Christ pose. A large amount of the religious material comes up at the end. In between we get escape attempt after escape attempt.
What’s so interesting about the film is that despite the fact that he ends up a Christ figure, we really don’t know who he is and neither does he. I don’t mean in the amnesiatic sense. I mean that he doesn’t understand why he is the way he is or what he is supposed to do with his life. He’s not perfect and for awhile he has been broken both the bosses of the gang.
In the end, he was a man who gave others hope and direction when they didn’t have any. Isn’t that all we ask of a messiah. Does it matter whether they have hope or direction themselves?