Tusk Film Details
Overview: An English girl and an Indian elephant, born on the same day, share a common destiny.
Review: It never would’ve occurred to me throughout the career of Alejandro Jodorowsky, he would make a film in which would fade as much as it’s (supposed) reputation. Seeing as Jodorowsky put so much effort into making Dune, never did I think much like how David Lynch would eventually disown the Dune film he made, Jodorowsky disowned a film of his own, especially since his other efforts being El Topo, The Holy Mountain and later Santa Sangre set the bar very high in terms of visual flair and thoughtful subject matter. Tusk on the other hand would be a big stain on his film career, my guess for how something like this largely fell as it did would probably be Jodorowsky’s eagerness to get back in the director’s chair after his Dune film failed to get off grounds. Yet while that failure seemed legendary from a distance, I don’t think this film would’ve prepared him sooner since some if not all director’s have a ‘dud’ in their careers. First off, I’m just stating the facts of what I knew about this film before I eventually saw it. It’s rare you’ll find something you didn’t know existed let alone from a high profile creative talent of cult cinema. I’m not even sure if I expected much from this film when I finally saw it. It’s largely an adaptation of a children’s book about a girl and an elephant that have a psychic connection, unlike any animal-human relationships. This story eventually takes many deep unexpected twists and turns as the plot progresses. Jodorowsky’s films are largely known for encompassing hugely fascinating and thought provoking, yet touchy spiritual subject matters. Even for a film like this largely set in India there wouldn’t be a short supply of anything Jodorowky-esque (especially with what El Topo and The Holy Mountain covered). I think it’s the story and plot that’s at faults here rather than the overall subject matter. I’ll give the film credit for having strong characters who all have clear motivations conflicting with one another and does have great gradual development. The visual pallet is also nothing short of eye-catching cinematography that captures the best of rural Indian villages and culture life. Sadly the story itself isn’t that inspiring, even when trying to develop the relationship between Elise and Tusk, both character’s stand out well on screen, but we lose track of them when so many other characters and conflicts come into play and there isn’t much thought given to these plot points except they’re a little predictable when they play out. Not to mention, the pacing is largely meandering at times I had to re-wind to make sure I didn’t miss or sleep through anything. That’s not to say this film is unwatchable, I think it is, especially with what Jodorowsky was able to work with in India of all places around the world. But was it worth it? I don’t think so, which was why this film was so disastrous upon it’s release. It doesn’t qualify as being so poor in quality as one of the ‘worst’ films ever, that’s all hugely subjective. I guess if Jodorowsky experienced failure as not getting projects off the ground with Dune, this was something he released as being done and dusted before he decided not to associate with it, and it’s a great shame. While some films that’re notorious for their poor reception, Tusk is for better or worse lost throughout time as a forgotten directorial effort from an avant garde master of cinematic surrealism. Lastly, if this film was more widely available I would encourage people see it (or find it if you can) and make up you’re own minds about it. I liked the music of the film largely for being a cultural sound-drop for the iconic setting and the overall scenario that could’ve been better, not to mention I had seen better from other films. While there’s plenty of things to admire from a distance about this film, I don’t think it payed off in the end which becomes apparent when I finally finished watching the film from beginning to end. I may have wanted to like it more than I perceived, but I didn’t, nor could I largely recommend this film from a distance of unknowing (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!).
Language: French, English
Duration: 119 min
Also known as: Tusk,Бивень,Kiel,Tusk – Une fable panique