Le cinquième élément
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FAQ for
The Fifth Element (1997) More at IMDbPro »Le cinquième élément (original title)

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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Fifth Element can be found here.

Former Special Forces Major Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis), currently working as a taxicab driver in the 23rd century, is more than surprised when an orange-haired woman calling herself Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) suddenly falls into his cab. Engineered to be 'perfect', Leeloo is actually a divine creature placed on Earth to deflect 'the Great Evil', an interdimensional weapon that comes to Earth every 5,000 years with the sole purpose of destroying all life in the Universe. Korben and Leeloo, together with Father Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm) and interstellar radio personality Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker), must retrieve four elemental stones in order to trigger the fifth element that will defeat the Great Evil. However, ruthless businessman Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) and his team of mercenary Mangalores are also searching for the stones, and they will stop at nothing to get them.

The Fifth Element is based on a screenplay written by French film director Luc Besson and American screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen. However, the film was subsequently novelized as The Fifth Element: A Novel (1997) by Terry Bissen.

Right before the leader of the Mondoshawan opens the secret chamber in the temple he says that "...war is coming, stones not safe on Earth anymore." He probably means that, given the year of 1914, that World War I might spread to the region where the temple stands and the secret chamber and the stones could be discovered. Additionally, World War II is in the future, barely 20 years hence -- Nazi Germany sought to seize control of Northern Africa, as did Fascist Italy & the temple could be destroyed during that time as well.

Albanian opera singer Inva Mula. The selection she sang was from the Italian opera "Lucia di Lammermoor" Act 3, Scene I ('Il dolce suono mi colpi') by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti.

The Diva Plavalaguna (Maïwenn) probably knows that the Fifth Element, unlike the other four, is a conscious being that has to play an active role in defeating the Great Evil. In order for Leeloo to fulfill her role as Fifth Element, she needs to believe that humanity is worth saving. Near the end of the movie, Leeloo sees images of humanity's dark side, as well as its capacity for destruction, which puts her in a state of near-apathy. Korben thus has to convince her that love is humanity's redeeming value. The Diva may have already noticed that Leeloo is special to Korben, and that he may be her strongest connection to mankind. Therefore, she convinces him to profess his love for Leeloo, so as to trigger her into action once the four elemental stones are arranged.

No one was credited for these roles, and there's no clear evidence as to who was used. However, some have speculated that it was Jill Mullan, who is credited under Other Crew for "special thanks". Others have suggested that Finger sounds like Bill Nunn or Vin Diesel but neither of these have been confirmed.

As President Lindberg (Tommy 'Tiny' Lister) anciously watches the fireball of Great Evil approach Earth, Dallas, Fr Cornelius, David (Charlie Creed-Miles), and Ruby Rhod attempt to fit the four stones into their slots in the weapon chamber at the Egyptian temple. Realizing that each stone represents a classical element (earth, wind, water, and fire), they match the stones to their slots but nothing happens. When David accidentally exhales on the Wind stone, however, it begins to activate. They dust the Earth stone with soil, and it, too, activates. Cornelius squeezes the sweat from his handkerchief on the Water stone, and Dallas lights his last match to activate the Fire Stone. Dallas then tells Leeloo that it's time for her to do her thing, but Leeloo is too bummed out and emotionally disillusioned after watching the War videos. Dallas tries to convince her that there are things about humans worth preserving, such as love. 'I love you,' Dallas says and kisses Leeloo. Suddenly, the stones power up and Leeloo releases the Divine Light, extinguishing the fireball and turning into another moon in Earth's orbit. After their ordeal, Dallas and Leeloo are placed in a recuperation tank. In the final scene, the President comes to thank them, but Dallas and Leeloo are otherwise engaged.

'The film, for me, was something far more intimate, centered on this fifth element, which represents life, love and art. A sort of model, a reflection or mirror, a way of exploring how to live better with others and with oneself. In peace.' -Luc Besson, in The Adventure and Discovery of a Film: The Story of The Fifth Element.


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