As Above, So Below…Keep going down and you’ll end up back on the surface!
As Above, So Below is both a “cave” movie and a supernatural “confront your tragic past” movie. It starts with Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) discovering that the the all powerful philosopher’s stone is in the catacombs under Paris. 13th century quarries where Parisians stashed 6,000,000 corpses in the 18th century means climbing through bone beds! And since this is a necropolis, demons pop up to throw your past in your face. Basterds!
George (Ben Feldman) Scarlet’s Aramaic translator and prickly love interest, reluctantly accompanies her on a one way trip to the netherworld. But, as in Dante’s Inferno, once you get to the creamy center of hell, the only way you can go is up, even when you continue going down. In Journey to the Center of the Earth, they had proof Arne Saknussemm got out, so you can understand the faith they had that if they kept going, they’d reach the surface. But why in this movie, why are they so sure that if they keep descending they’ll end up back on the surface? To get above, go below! It’s so easy when the characters knows what the author needs them to do.
Scarlett finally figures out what really needs to be done when she realizes the philosopher’s stone she grabbed is a fake and she needs the real one to save George. Scarlett puts back the fake and sees her reflection in a mirror. She is the philosopher’s stone! She runs back to George, embracing and apologizing to her father’s corpse along the way, and heals George with her bare hands. One simple jump into a bottomless pit later, and they emerge through a manhole cover onto the streets of Paris. Q.E.D.
Which brings us to the question of the week. What is your favorite movie where the character realizes they are the power and not the talisman?