The Lust of the Mohicans
I know that’s a tacky headline but honestly, Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans always sets my heart to pitter-pattering. Or perhaps that’s in sympathy for all the running he does. Seriously, there’s a lot of RUNNING in this film.
Perhaps they should have rechristened Nathaniel Running Bear (who loved little White Dove with a love as big as the sky-yyeee). All that activity is utterly exhausting to watch. Nobody ever WALKS anywhere! It would only be in my fantasy life that I’d like to be DDL’s character’s squeeze. In real life, I’d just sit back and have a nice cup of tea and let the bad guys get me. I wouldn’t manage all that dashing around!
The first time I saw this film, I was absolutely blown away – which isn’t a pun on the amount of gunfire involved in the story, although it could be. I went one Sunday afternoon with my best friend and we saw it on the big screen. Wow! That scenery is gorgeous. And not just Daniel, I’m talking about the mountains and the woods. Mind you, just as an aside, Eric Schweig as Uncas isn’t too hard on the eye either.
Another wonderful element of this film is the fantastic soundtrack by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman. It’s powerful music with a strong Celtic influence. One of my favorite scenes is when the hero and heroine share passionate kisses on the ramparts of a doomed fort while a relentlessly rhythmic Scottish reel plays and then the love theme surges over the dance music.
I’ve seen this film numerous times since and it’s never lost its magic for me. In fact, when I worked as a captioner, I was lucky enough to prepare the DVD subtitles for the version for the Deaf and the hearing impaired. That was captioning nirvana. A fabulous script, great direction, wonderful acting – and not a lot of dialogue! I always knew when I had a really great film if I liked it more after working on it as a captioner than I did originally. That was true for The Last of the Mohicans (and coincidentally Braveheart).
Nathaniel is the ideal romantic hero and for quite a while there, he was the physical model for my male leading characters. Tall, lean, dark, intense, smart, his own man, a lone wolf, a rebel, an independent thinker, passionate, brave, physically adept, canny, sexy. Oh, and a commanding nose. I do like a hero with a commanding nose! Somehow it’s an essential part of the alpha persona.
But what particularly makes him the model for a romance hero is that from the moment he first sees Madeleine Stowe’s character, Cora Munro, he knows that she’s the one for him. She is his complete and utter focus and he’ll do anything to keep her safe. Wow, what a man! That complete and immediate intensity of commitment makes Nathaniel more than just an action man. This is a man who is emotionally mature and knows what he wants when he sees it. It’s an enormously appealing characteristic!
I suspect I haven’t seen the last of The Last of the Mohicans!