Thursday, August 1, 2013

Typical Hollywood Indian

I was so excited about "The Lone Ranger," weren't you? There was cousin Johnny, Comanches, horses and train explosions. The hype was almost too much to take as the due date drew near. I entered contests for free tickets and T-shirts, I kept up with all the Johnny Depp news and news about the film. I posted trailers on my Facebook page and retweeted anything Lone Range on Twitter.

It wasn't only me. I think the whole Native American community was excited about this because Johnny found a whole new respect for our people when he came out and said he's Native and was adopted into the Comanche tribe. It felt like, with his huge name, he would play Tonto as a real Indian and do justice to the Native Hollywood character. It's high time we had a huge Indian star play a huge Indian role. Johnny was it. This was it. Johnny was going to save our image with this huge summer blockbuster. It was supposed to be Tonto's movie. That's what I thought, and I think that's what a lot of us thought. Tribal leaders, including the Navajo Nation president, attended showings and the red carpet and endorsed the film. People all over the reservation were excited when the film crews came through town. 

The first scene, an Indian in a cage on a circus display, ruined everything. I knew I was wrong about the film right then and there. I was disappointed and I think we were all disappointed. Certainly, all my Native friends were disappointed. Why the hell did they have to put him in a cage?

It was stereotypical, the way Hollywood Indians always are. The main character wasn't Indian, and they never are. The tribe of Comanches were only victims to show how rotten the villain was. They didn't offer anything to the story or to the resolution of the plot. They just got massacred, as they always do. There was no justice, just a few scenes that made you feel sorry for them.

Tonto was way too similar to Captain Jack Sparrow because he had a silliness about him and he was an odd outcast. He also wasn't even part of the tribe, or at least the tribe cast him out and didn't want his help or involvement. His dialogue was also very stereotypical in that broken English, painted Hollywood Indian way.

I mean, there was no empowerment or kudos to the Comanches. The hype revolved around Johnny Depp and his character, but his character was disappointing and the film was really about and for the Lone Ranger.

I really enjoyed the film when I wasn't so disappointed in Tonto. I thought it had good action and it was a great homage to Lone Ranger.

I know it's not Johnny's fault. I still love him. He abides by writers and a script, none of which were really interested in seriously focusing on Native Americans or doing any justice to the Indian character

It seems like no one else really liked the film either. It only made $85 million the whole month of July and it cost $215 million to make. When I watched it on the day it came out, there were only 30 people in the theater. I believe "Fast and Furious 6" beat "The Lone Ranger" on the first weekend.

We're still wishing for a big powerful movie. "Avatar" got really close, but it took place on a different planet and they were blue and the hero, of course, was a white American male. I'm thinking about epic, hero films about Po'pay and the Pueblo Revolt (huge battle scenes and tales of betrayal, loyalty and add in a love story), chief Manuelito and the resistance against the Long Walk (huge battle scenes with lots of horses, tales of betrayal, honor and loyalty, and add in a love story) and Elouise Cobell against the U.S. Federal Government (dramatic courts and lawyers movie where I can see Ben Affleck playing the defending lawyer who looses in the end. And add in a love story or sex scene because, I guess, people need that to catch their attention). Ah, that will be the day. I swear Hollywood is running out of ideas. I have to write the next great film. And I will only do it for us; the right way.


  1. Yes Andi you could write the next great film. I know you can do it! This blog about The Lone Ranger is very good. And yes other than stereo type, Tonto was good.

  2. Yes your are wright and thanks for post a good topic . your post is

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