As a movement, human rights is something rather new. It takes World War II, in which persecution towards Jews in Europe took place, to introduce the concept globally. However, only a few realize and remember what European countries did (and do?) upon the third countries and the rest of the world for centuries prior to the world war happened. Colonialism, persecution, slavery, mass murder and ethnic cleansing are among cruel and nasty things they did in the past. Such inhuman and immoral conducts gave birth numerous famous legends worldwide, which is The Legend of Tarzan is one of them.
Tarzan (Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård) is John Clayton III or Lord Greystoke, a British nobleman of the Greystoke’s who is raised by gorillas in the African jungle. As he is introduced to human civilization and understands his social standing, he undertakes political activity to save African people in general and Congolese in particular from colonialism. Together with Jane Porter (Margot Robbie), his wife who is also raised in Africa, he goes back to Congo to accept the invitation of the King of Belgium. George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson) is going with the couple, too. He is an Afro-American who represents the U.S. government to investigate further what Belgium does to the region following being granted colonialism.
John Clayton III is too late to realize that the invitation is merely a trap set up by Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz), the right hand of the King of Belgium. Leon wants to give Tarzan to the Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou) whose son was killed by Tarzan for murdering Kala, a gorilla who had raised him since he was a baby. In order to accomplish his mission, Leon kidnaps Jane, making her bait to get Tarzan. Once he has successfully introduces him to the Chief Mbonga, Leon gets all the wealth he wants to keep his further political ambition in the region. However, Leon has to do more efforts since Tarzan is no normal man who will fight for his loving wife and the world and people he loves.
The Legend of Tarzan is truly entertaining movie despite of the fact that it’s rich in political content. It is successful enough to portray the inhuman practices conducted by Belgium, a country which is widely considered to be innocent in our modern world. It also beautifully visualizes the U.S. government initiatives against slavery in 1880s though racial discrimination stirred political debates and ignited social unrest within the U.S. soil until 1960s. Many interesting scenes since the beginning of the movie. The way George Washington Williams behaves during the meeting between Lord Greystoke and British high-rank officers prior to going to Africa, for instance, shows the impact of the U.S. democracy towards its citizen: There is no caste and or noblemen in the U.S. and rich in the spirit of egalitarianism. The political taste of the movie has introduced the audience three options of behaviors: Being an enslaving European nation; Being a reluctant colonialist like British government; or giving others freedom like Americans do.