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View Full Version : The Ninth Gate - What the heck?!?!?!?



Saint Fool
12-27-2008, 11:29 PM
My niece and I have a Christmas tradition of tracking down and watching Johnny Depp movies we haven't seen. Yesterday, we watched The Ninth Gate. After two hours of pretty photography and a good soundtrack, we looked at each other and said "WTF?"

Does it help to read the book? (The Dumas Club?)

Can anyone explain the ending? Or why the woman flew through the air?

Or must I just accept the fact that sometimes Depp makes really bad script choices?

nevada
12-27-2008, 11:34 PM
okay havent seen the movie in a while but here's what I remember. we are supposed to believe that the woman is an angel but i believe she is a fallen angel sent by Satan to facilitate the opening of the ninth gate.

and in the end, johnny depp chose to take the power that frank langella would have taken.

the whole conceit of the movie being that the legend is true and satan and god are real.

like i said, havent watched the movie in a while. i'll check it out.

williemeikle
12-27-2008, 11:34 PM
My niece and I have a Christmas tradition of tracking down and watching Johnny Depp movies we haven't seen. Yesterday, we watched The Ninth Gate. After two hours of pretty photography and a good soundtrack, we looked at each other and said "WTF?"

Does it help to read the book? (The Dumas Club?)

Can anyone explain the ending? Or why the woman flew through the air?

Or must I just accept the fact that sometimes Depp makes really bad script choices?

I loved the film. And the ending needs little explanation... Depp found the Ninth Gate and the power that went with it.

(And the "woman" could fly because she was never human in the first place.)

vixey
12-27-2008, 11:46 PM
I'm almost done reading The Club Dumas and I recently watched the movie for a second time. As I understand it SPOILER ALERT (highlight to read) the woman is the angel Gabriel.

kuwisdelu
12-28-2008, 01:02 AM
The other explanations up there are about as good as I could do. Reading the book might help. I love that movie.

shawkins
12-28-2008, 02:24 AM
I wouldn't have picked the woman as an archangel. If she was so all holy and stuff, why was she pictured in the book of the kingdom of shadows? I'm about 99% sure that she was supposed to be a witch, and that SHE, not Depp, snatched the power that Frank Langella was after.

Remember in the opening of the movie when Depp goes to see Langella in the lecture hall? That's the first time we see the mysterious woman, and the lecturer is saying something along the lines of "witches often adopted low creatures--cats and rats--as a familiar."

She's a witch and she chose Johnny Depp's low-life scumbag character as her familiar. That's my theory & I'm sticking to it.

vixey
12-28-2008, 02:29 AM
You hit 1,000 posts, Scott! Woo-hoo!

Mr. Chuckletrousers
12-28-2008, 02:30 AM
I thought the woman was Satan, and that Depp in the end became a witch (specifically, the "[s]he has had carnal knowledge of the Devil and consorted with dark powers" sort of witch).

vixey
12-28-2008, 02:31 AM
I thought the same think and I'm still not sure. But a friend who'd finished the book told me otherwise.

robeiae
12-28-2008, 02:32 AM
*boggles*

Huh? I like that movie a great deal. And I always thought she was, well, you know...the bad guy.

ETA: Cross-posted with two peeps that see it the same way as me.

vixey
12-28-2008, 02:35 AM
OK...the guy who told me she wasn't a 'bad' guy doesn't have literary credentials. He's an OBGYN. *shrugs*

Cassiopeia
12-28-2008, 02:35 AM
Of all the movies he's done that are creepy, I happen to like this one the most. Dunno why, just do.

scarletpeaches
12-28-2008, 02:38 AM
I liked Secret Window 'cause it's about a writer...and I didn't see the twist coming although I felt kinda stoopid at the reveal.

I heart Johnny Depp.

shawkins
12-28-2008, 02:38 AM
You hit 1,000 posts, Scott! Woo-hoo!

Hey, I did!

I was planning to use my 1000th to go up to P&CE and argue with robeiae somebody, but this is more Christmasy.

maestrowork
12-28-2008, 03:11 AM
It's been a long time so I don't remember the ending. What I remember is that I actually enjoyed the film and didn't find it confusing.

brokenfingers
12-28-2008, 03:25 AM
Hmmm, my take was that she was the Devil. Wasn't she pictured in a page of the book as the Devil?

But, I'm cool with the whole "Gabriel" thing also.

C.bronco
12-28-2008, 03:49 AM
I liked that movie. I thought the woman was (spoiler alert) the whore from Revelations. I'm not sure if that's what she was called, but the one who rode the many-headed dragon .

shawkins
12-28-2008, 03:52 AM
I liked that movie. I thought the woman was (spoiler alert)

Oooh. She's right. I never caught that. But I still like the witch idea--that voiceover in the auditorium doesn't seem like coincidence. Are they mutually exclusive, do you think?

Saint Fool
12-28-2008, 03:53 AM
Thanks for all the comments - I think I'm going to read the book. Angel, devil, witch? Hmmm.

C.bronco
12-28-2008, 03:56 AM
Oooh. She's right. I never caught that. But I still like the witch idea--that voiceover in the auditorium doesn't seem like coincidence. Are they mutually exclusive, do you think?
Now I'll have to watch it again. I hope they have it on IO.

Mr Flibble
12-28-2008, 01:58 PM
What have witches got to do with Satan? Witches don't believe Satan exists. Let's face it, they don't believe God ( as in the Christian version) exists either. Why would they help either one out if they are a fictional entity? Seriously, that's very confusing.


But yeah, thanks for the explanation. I was quite tiddly by the time we got to the end of the film, so I wasn't sure if it was the beer stopping me get what was going on. Glad to see it wasn't just me.

I love the line from earlier, post-coital as twere:

Don't fuck with me!
I thought I just did.

*snicker*

Calla Lily
12-28-2008, 08:16 PM
I love the line from earlier, post-coital as twere:

Don't fuck with me!
I thought I just did.

*snicker*

Those were my favorite lines from the movie too. Of course, there's always Frank Langella's scenery-chewing mad scientist laughter just before he sets himself on fire. I figure you have to be a really good actor or a really bad one to carry that off.

I went "huh?" at the end, myself, both times I saw it. IIRC, I heard that Polanski ran out of money and just ended it, whump. But that could merely be a Net rumor.

Not a huge Depp fan, but I enjoyed his take on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow more than Ninth Gate.

scarletpeaches
12-29-2008, 12:05 AM
Secret Window's on at 9pm, fellow Britishers. Channel five.

Seen it a bajillion times but it's the Depp, so...never enough.

Cassiopeia
12-29-2008, 12:31 AM
As far as I understood the movie, she was the Devil and there are no witches. It's about a Satanic cult seeking power and immortality. That's my take on it. :D

ETA: And it didn't escape me that they use a female for the devil. A very attractive female. ;)

Mr Flibble
12-29-2008, 12:35 AM
ETA: And it didn't escape me that they use a female for the devil. A very attractive female. ;)

Polanski's wife wasn't it? I remember Depp saying he was nervous about kissing her in front of her hubby but Roman kept saying words to the effect of 'Come on man, put your back into it!'

Which would be disconcerting.

HeronW
12-29-2008, 01:13 AM
Good Depp holiday movie: Edward Scissorhands--last movie with Vincent Price.

:}

Satori1977
12-30-2008, 01:20 AM
Saw the movie when it came out. I know I liked it, but don't really remember the ending. Will have to see it again. Didn't know there was a book. Need to check that out now too.

BTW, I love Johnny Depp. Will watch anything with him in it a million times over. Except Willy Wonka. He was creepy in that. And not in a good way (like most of his roles).

Satori1977
12-30-2008, 01:21 AM
Good Depp holiday movie: Edward Scissorhands--last movie with Vincent Price.

:}


Love, love, LOVE that movie. One of his best. :heart:

dclary
12-30-2008, 01:41 AM
the whole conceit of the movie being that satan and god are real.

This is a conceit?

Mr Flibble
12-30-2008, 01:47 AM
That probably depends what religion you are;)

scarletpeaches
12-30-2008, 01:48 AM
If it's conceited to say they are real, why is it acceptable to say they are not?

And guess what? The Ninth Gate? It's fiction!

Even if you don't have a belief, you can still suspend your disbelief.

dclary
12-30-2008, 01:49 AM
That probably depends what religion you are;)

I don't think God or the devil particularly care. ;)

scarletpeaches
12-30-2008, 01:49 AM
I don't think God or the devil particularly care. ;)

That's right; I don't.

nevada
12-30-2008, 01:55 AM
Hahaha I didn't mean to say that they were or were not real. Only that a lot of times in movies when they perform Satanic rituals they never work. Whereas in this movie everything turns out to be true. the book was a collaboration with the devil, etc.

scarletpeaches
12-30-2008, 01:56 AM
Quite right too. A movie where Satan exists should be made, to balance out all the others where he doesn't.

Proof Satan exists? He posted in #32.

dclary
12-30-2008, 01:59 AM
Shhhhhh, you. Don't make me smite you!

Cassiopeia
12-30-2008, 02:03 AM
Quite right too. A movie where Satan exists should be made, to balance out all the others where he doesn't.

Proof Satan exists? He posted in #32.I KNEW there was something fishy about Deek.

Teleute
12-30-2008, 06:22 AM
For next year I recommend Dead Man. Johnny Depp is not especially hot in it though. :)

kristin724
01-01-2009, 07:53 AM
I reviewed this movie a long time ago. Here's the link

http://ithinkthereforeireview.blogspot.com/2007/11/ninth-gate.html

I like it. I enjoy a film that you have to think on and pay attention and watch more than once to figure out.

Kalyke
01-01-2009, 09:19 AM
All those pictures came from Tarot and other sorts of ancient hermetic tradition-- I thought it was a decent if weird movie-- no better or worse than that strange Jack-The-Ripper movie he did about the same time. I thought the angle "green eyes" was funny, and they played it like an old 60's movie like the Dunwitch Horror. Indeed, what if there was a book written by Satan-- It is an intriguing idea. Why not. Frank Langella at his weirdest. See him again in Nixon/Frost. Langella has always been a strange guy to me. I am gaining a lot of new respect for him as an actor as he gets older.

Saint Fool
01-01-2009, 08:58 PM
Oh! The DVD has commentary by Polanski. I'll listen while sewing this evening and perhaps all shall be revealed. Or not.

Gynn
01-05-2009, 08:56 AM
I really like that movie, and I think it's the whole "tracking down rare books that may contain hidden knowledge" that does it. Is there really a seedy underground for rare books? I love the concept.

Also, the woman was great. When she first flies down the steps, it's effective because you're completely unprepared for it. I think she was a succubus. Depp ends up with the power, but will be a servant of Satan, since it's his power anyway.

tailstrike
02-11-2009, 07:43 AM
Read the book to this movie it makes a whole lot more sense especially when in the book things are so different (SPOILER ALERT) he has a different name (spoiler alert) his name is lucas corso in the book which make you think what does 'LCF' really stand for??? Or what the F stand for...Lucas Corso F_____???

Strife17
02-17-2009, 05:35 AM
I think that woman was the whore of Babylon or something like that. I looked it up on Wikipedia.

I liked the movie. On the special features, Depp said he wanted to do it because of the strange character development. At the beginning, you don't like his character because he's a bad guy, a sleaze, but as the movie goes on you start to like him, but by the end of the movie he's even worse than before. Yeah.

Diana Hignutt
03-15-2010, 04:41 PM
I'm reading The Club Dumas. I remember that watching the movie, I was sure the woman was Satan. That seems to be where the book is headed.

Interestingly, with little work and a computer, I found a copy of a surviving book written the historical character that Arisde Torchia was based on. In 5 minutes I found the closest thing to the fictious The Book of Gate Gates to the Shadow Realm for sale in London for L500 plus shipping. A bit less spectacler than in the movie or book. No, I didn't buy it.

Great book so far. Great movie.

DavidZahir
03-15-2010, 09:05 PM
My take was that the Girl was probably the Devil or maybe simply his Messenger. At the end, Depp's character achieves the power Langella's character did not--which is not physical control of the material world but entry into something else, something transcendent.