Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet [2015] ★★½


 Khalil Gibran’s timeless masterpiece is among the most popular poetry books ever written, selling over 100 million copies in forty languages since its publication in 1923. And when people talk about it with affection and even passion, one could always hope that a screen adaptation can find some way to replicate those feelings.  But let’s face it: even good translations of popular books tend to fall short, especially in the eyes of faithful readers, because films rarely provide the same intensely personal experience that reading a book does. That being said, I have to applaud Salma Hayek  and director Roger Allers, not just for their ambition in adapting  Gibran’s beloved book, but for their realization, imperfect though it may be. I would never dismiss this film out of hand; it has too many beautiful passages, conveying Gibran’s vision of love, death, marriage and good vs evil. But I think its reach exceeds its grasp. I found the film’s many artsy animated sequences to be beautiful, but boring. I even felt disconnected at some point. “The Prophet” is truly a film in which the parts are greater than the whole. I was swept up in it for quite a while, but a film of this kind ought to leave you with an afterglow. That’s what I was wanting, and hoping for, so I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed.

Rating: 2.5/4

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