The Book of Eli (2010) Poster

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  • He would have been able to feel the warmth of the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, giving him direction.

    It is also implied he had divine guidance. Edit

  • The script was conceived by English screenwriter Gary Whitta and then subsequently re-written by American screenwriter Anthony Peckham. Edit

  • The reason he had to show his hands was to prove that he was not a cannibal. If someone consumes human brain and nervous system tissue, such as the spinal cord, they risk developing "Kuru", a disease related to Creutzfeldt-Jakob (aka Mad Cow disease). It is caused by warped proteins called prions, and causes small holes to form in the brain of infected individuals. The disease causes trembling and shaking all over the body, which worsens over time. Edit

  • Throughout history, there have been many people who have started wars or genocides and so on by overall exploiting people's superstitions (hence "organized superstition") and thereby claiming they were doing God's work. These exploiters would bend and twist the words of the Bible or other scriptures to their benefit and rallying people to their cause. Carnegie was planning on doing something similar, not necessarily starting wars, but convincing people to join his cause, getting everybody to do what he said by convincing them he was a prophet-as most of the people in the post-apocalyptic era (those under age 30) had never heard of the Bible, or of God, afterlife, heaven, hell, or any concept in/of religion. Edit

Spoilers

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The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • Redridge fired one shot at Eli with his pistol and by the sounds of it, completely missed. The second shot, he took his time, gripped his pistol properly, aimed, fired and if you notice he hit Eli in his backpack. At this point Eli turned around and a shoot-out with Carnegie's men ensued. If we are going with realism here, it could be said that improper maintenance caused the pistol to be significantly less accurate, so even if Redridge was aiming directly at Eli, if there was a significant amount of dirt or build-up in the barrel, it could cause the bullet to stray far off course. This would explain why Redridge looked at the gun after he fired his first shot. As for the shot hitting Eli's backpack, it's possible it hit something inside his pack which stopped the bullet. Possibly one of his machetes, the bible, or something else. If you want to go with certain mystical qualities the film presents, it could be said that divine intervention stopped the bullets. Alternatively, several scenes hint that Redridge may be a reluctant killer in a brutal world, hiding a good heart beneath a normally uncompromising exterior and that he found himself unable to kill Eli without flinching at the last second and missing. Edit

  • It isn't stated but it's implied he died from his gunshot wound. He was shot in the gut and if he didn't receive proper medical care, he would have died slowly, but definitely would have died eventually. His condition must have worsened while Solara was driving him to San Francisco and he must have been beyond the help that the Alcatraz people could have given him. Edit

  • In the Bible, the high priest Eli was blind, and some might say that there are several scenes which may indicate that in the movie Eli was blind or at least partially blind: when hunting the cat, for example, he was sitting in a position where it didn't seem like he could actually see his target at all; in the opening fight, he cuts the man's hand off after being pushed, waiting until he's touched to get a sense of where to direct his blow with his machete. Also he lures the rest of them in to a dark tunnel before fighting them. In the house at the beginning, Eli looks at the sun from a window, but his eyes don't dilate. He has extraordinary hearing and sense of smell. He doesn't put on his sunglasses right away when walking outside, like everyone else does (he even appears to be staring directly at the sun). In several scenes, sounds of babies, shooting guns, movement, and sometimes almost insignificant sounds are emphasized. He searches the shelves of the first house he checks (in the beginning of the movie, before he finds the dead body) by running his hand over them. When he finds the dead body hanging, it is very clear that his shock is caused by the doors falling off the hinges, not the sight of the dead person. He even feels the body before being sure of what he is dealing with, since he can't see anything. Just before finding the doors hiding the dead body, he runs into an end table with his thigh, as if he didn't see it. As he walks along the highway with Solara, he silences her so that he can hear the bird ("dinner") flying above them. At George and Martha's house, he kicks forward by the first step of the stairs to the porch with his boot so he knows where it is. He never fires his weapon first, needing to hear the sound of shooting at him to identify the location of his target, hence the reason he simply walks away after the last man puts his pistol down after the shoot-out. His use of a shotgun as a primary weapon means that accuracy is not as critical, allowing for him to aim via sound rather than sight. When Eli and Solara approach the cannibals' (George and Martha's) house. As they approach the steps, you can hear a brief clicking sound. Eli is using echolocation to "see" what is ahead of him. When paying for his trickle charge, he opens a Zippo lighter and passes his hand over the flame to ensure it indeed was lit instead of seeing the flame. when George says to them, "No trespassing, didn't you see the sign?", Eli says, "Sorry, I didn't see it"; says to Solara, "I walk by faith, not by sight"; in one scene, Eli walks to the edge of an overpass that has a piece missing in the middle, unlike a sighted person who would have realized it was impassable and found a different way around; the Bible, of course, was in Braille; he appears to have a heightened sense of smell; and perhaps most significantly, at the end, when he starts quoting the Bible, the camera moves in slowly towards his face, zooms in on his eyes and we see that his eyes are slightly "clouded over" (This was more evident in the theatrical run of the movie on the big screen.)

    On the flip side, Eli seems to function far too much like someone who can see, being able to shoot a bird out of the sky with a bow and arrow, being able to take on half a dozen people at once in a brawl, being able to pick off people from 50 yards away with a pistol and so on. He also sees Martha's (the cannibal woman) hands shaking and suggests he and Solara leave immediately (though he could have just heard the cup and saucer rattling in her hands). So he's either fully sighted, or perhaps he can see things farther away but not up close, hence his need to read in Braille. So the possibilities are as follow: Eli is blind and if so, he either trained himself to be able to travel, hunt, shoot, etc. like a sighted person would, or perhaps God is guiding his every move, as Eli says, "I know I wouldn't have made it this far without help"; Eli is partially blind; or he is fully sighted and anything to suggest otherwise is just a coincidence. Edit

  • He arrives back at his base with the Bible, when he finally gets it opened, he is mortified to find out that it is printed in braille. He tries to compel Claudia to read it for him but she states that she doesn't remember how to read braille. She then reveals to him that she could smell his wounded leg and that it was turning gangrenous, he wouldn't live too much longer and also, Carnegie lost all but two or three men in pursuit of Eli and so the townspeople took over. So Carnegie lost everything, and that would soon include his life, for nothing. Edit

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