Book of Eli Spoilers Discussion

Published 5 years ago by , Updated January 16th, 2010 at 12:03 am,

book of eli denzel washington Book of Eli Spoilers Discussion

While we do have a Book of Eli review where you can leave comments, we’ve set up this as a place where you can discuss spoilers about the movie without concerns about ruining it for folks who haven’t seen it yet. I’m sure the ending to Book of Eli will raise a lot of issues and debate, so we’ll be curious to hear your thoughts on it.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, I would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have. icon smile Book of Eli Spoilers Discussion

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  1. He’s blind, i don’t know if its just me tripping out, but im fairly sure throughout the movie you can notice clicking (a sound that he is making) to help sense objects around him. Discovery channel did a documentary on a guy that could use this clicking noise to navigate objects. It also helps that when it zooms in on his eyes at the end they are frosted over similar to some forms of blindness. Small things throughout the movie you can notice. Like holding his music player up to his ear to hear the electronic frequency (which wasn’t there due to it being flat).

  2. The only thing that gets me, is if he is blind, why did he use binoculers to see those people getting attacked?

  3. also when he finds the store to get his ipod charged. How did he know it was a store, there were other buildings? Did he just walk into every building and say “opps wrong one”

    • I think his sense of smell might have told him what type of store it was. I mean he did do some pretty amazing things earlier in the movie using just his sense of smell.

    • god shows him everything

  4. I really liked this movie until they dropped the big twist ending. That is so overdone these days, like there’s some big skill in having a twist ending. Impossible for him to have survived so long in that kind of world and be blind. Walking roads strewn with burnt cars and various debris and not trip over every 10 seconds. Also here’s a question: He might have had super-hearing, but decades of having to defend himself with firearms (he’s super skilled so has a lot of experience) with no ear protection. And yet he has no hearing damage??

    • Just as an answer from my perspective, Eli probably wouldn’t have had much firearms training before the flash which is the apacolyptic event that I think made him blind. So all of his shooting would have been done outdoors, where hearing protection is recommended, but not always necessary because the sound isn’t rocketed around a closed space like a range. Look at guys from the military, they go to combat without hearing protection. Also, blind people are known to have heightened senses. Myself, for example, am legally blind with uncorrected vision of 20/400. I have a heightened sense of smell, and hearing, as well as a kind of sixth sense of spacial awareness. So while unlikely, it’s still a plausible situation. And even barring all of that information, Eli says in the movie that God has given him a mission, so there’s the ultimate trump card of God’s protection.

    • Be careful in assuming anyone being sight impaired means they are not able to survive an environment. The other senses are heightened, skills are honed over time (& his character was not young), and-well-that’s just ignorant. Do we know if he is completely blind? No. Some people use the sight they do have as well as their other hightened senses and developed skills to very intelligently navigate their environments. Only if you have enough exposure into this kind of life and culture would you begin to understand.

  5. The Book of Eli
    The Book of Eli

    Was Eli Blind?

    YES! As I’ve watched this movie many times over (I really like it) I’m convinced … the character Denzel Washington played; Eli was blind and hints were given throughout the movie. Weather it happened at birth, sometime before or after “the flash” is not important, he was/is blind. As you watch the movie you’ll find out (1:09:12 mark) that Eli heard a voice from within (God) and the voice directed him to where to go (to get the Bible) and where to take or deliver it and that he would be protected, guided from anyone or anything that stood in his path. Eli even says that, “We walk by faith and not by sight.” A passage from the Bible that some would say is not to be taken literally. For Eli, the passage was not just a quote but a way of life for him. His ability to fight foes without sight can be attributed to Echolocation; see note #4.
    I’ve tried to label the mark times of which the evidence to support his “blindness” can be found. As with many blind people, their eyes tend to wonder. This would be a difficult task for an actor to convey who is sighted but could be accomplished with digital magic but … that would ruin the element of surprise most discovered in the end. One would simply have to accept the fact that Eli was blind but maybe, perhaps had limited but blurred sight; A type of sight that would allow him to maybe make out figures and or obstacles. Hope this helps.

    The hints:

    1. At the beginning of the movie, he shoots a hairless cat only when he hears it move. Although this hint will not make sense until the end once you put everything together.
    2. 4:40 mark – walking on highway Eli senses a car (echolocation), opens the door then feels down the skeleton’s leg only to find no shoes. With sight, this gesture would not have been necessary. He could have looked to see no shoes.
    3. 6:26 In the abandoned house by the road, he slides his hand across the shelf as if to feel for something (this one can be interpreted any way; very ambiguous) but later he walks across the floor only to stumble into what sounds like a large empty can (we do see this; neither does he) and finally, upon opening the closet door he flinches at the leaves or maggots falling out at him but doesn’t seem to notice the hanging body. Only when he sniffs, covers his nose does he realize a body is there and he then feels for shoes. The irony of the scene with the mouse is not only does he not eat the critter but he shares his meal with the mouse. A mouse eating a cat when in reality it is usually the other war around. At the 11:50 mark when he awakens, we see the iPod is dead but he continues to push buttons for it to play. Going to the window, he looks up you can see a gray ring around his eyes; an indication of cataracts or blindness; and he appears to be looking directly at the sun which has no effect on him. Q. Who can do this without shielding their eyes from the light? A. a blind person.
    4. First Fight Scene – 13:15 mark. He smells the enemy. He cuts the mans forearm off. Some have speculated that Eli must be sighted to do such thing. Answer; echolocation. It’s a process of locating objects by means of sound waves reflected back to the sender by the objects. Bats use this method as they are blind and Denzel gave an on set interview saying he prepared for the character by researching Ben Underwood (Jan. 26, 1992 – Jan. 19, 2009). Ben lost his sight at age 2 to a rare form of eye cancer and used echolocation to “see” his surroundings. Ben taught himself to play basketball, ride a bike, roller skate and even play video games. Eli, backs into the tunnel to give himself a even … fighting field and thwarts his attacks by sound. He listens and reacts and you later find out that he’s had over thirty (30) years to hone this skill. 17:44 mark – he ask the lady for her water, she tells him its in the cart and he feels around for it. Finding the bottle he sniffs it but we can see (again, he doesn’t) that the water is not fit for consumption; its black as molasses. He bumps a can before leaving the lady.
    5. 18:40 mark – stopping at the bridge before falling to his death; as a blind person probably would do. If you listen, you’ll hear gravel kicked then fall to what appears downward; a stretch I know but still a possible clue. I’m going again with ambiguity on this one.
    6. 20:20 mark – the fork in the road. Eli stops, listens for something on some device, looks skyward then proceeds.
    7. 22:21 mark – in town; when Eli goes into the merchant’s store and hands the man back his gun after taking it, he says, “Take your finger off the trigger” and we can see that the man’s finger was never on the trigger. The man simply says, “Yeah.” The man even looks down at the gun as if to indicate, “my finger is off and was never on the trigger.” May be another ambiguous moment but I think it’s something worth taking a 2nd and 3rd look at. As Eli removes something from his backpack the man ahhhs at what was just revealed. He says, “Oh sweet, that’s a Fathom 900, man.” Eli says, “Is it?” Eli produces a lighter and glides his hand over it as a trade for what he needs; possibly to feel the heat of the flame? You decide.
    8. 40:10 mark – as Solara enters wearing the seductive dress (for that time) and gazes into Eli’s eyes, she assure him he needs not worry about paying. Eli says, “Paying for what?” He didn’t see any of the foretelling; her, the cleavage, the slide to him, because he’s blind. After he opens the door to kick her out, Solara pleads with him to stay. You can see the anxiety on her face but it not until see slay “please” in allowing her to stay that he relents.
    9. 52:25 mark – when leaving the town; it is only after Eli is fired upon from the guy on the roof does he fire back. And each time someone fires on him, Eli turns in that direction and return fire. Eli accidentally shoots Carnegie in trying to shot the guy running in Carnegie’s direction. At the end of the shot out, why does Eli stand up leaving himself vulnerable? I think it’s because Redridge didn’t shoot at Eli and Eli didn’t know he was standing. Or … maybe the inner voice told Eli to “rise”. Why doesn’t Redridge (the bald guy) shoot Eli? Another ambiguous scene. Did a voice somehow speak to Redridge?
    10. 58:47 mark – Eli stops, looks back and the next scene the bad guys are coming after him. Some have speculated that Eli head the vehicles engines and knew they were coming for him. It seems it took them a while to reach Eli and Solara
    11. 1:03:20 mark – Eli stops Solara and listens for something. Then shoots in the air to kill a bird supplying their dinner.
    12. 1:05:54 mark – the first time we actually see Eli holding the Bible and reading. Towards the end, the revelation is that the book is in brail. Why then would a person need to hold their hand in place to read brail? Only to do so as to read because sight is not there.
    13. 1:13:26 an absolutely no trespassing sign is revealed as Eli and Solara walk right past it. 1:13:43 Eli taps step to ascend. The old man questions the two, “didn’t you read the sign?” Eli’s reply, “I’m very sorry, I didn’t see it.” *Note; at the 1:23:44 mark – Eli is shot. Some have speculated that if God was guiding him why then would he get shot? He didn’t die from the wound. On his mission we could believe that Eli may have attained many injuries but none so devastating that wouldn’t allow him to finish his task or the calling given to him. Eli, attempts to weld a knife only to bow down in what appears confusion. Did God tell him to relax? Be still? Another ambiguous scene.
    14. 1:32:54 mark – Eli was sleep but awakens to smell salt in the air; the ocean. 1:33:33 mark – Solara suddenly stops before driving off a distorted Golden Gate Bride of which Eli is peering straight ahead but doesn’t warn her to stop.
    15. 1:39:20 mark – Eli instructs the man at the library to, “pay close attention and write down everything I say exactly as I say it.” Those precise instructions were given with stern importance because Eli could not that task himself; that task of writing. 1:40:50 a slow zoom to a close up of Eli’s eyes further showing the gray haze or cataracts, and Eli says, “Let there be light.” A kind of irony since he, Eli was clouded with darkness.

    I say, watch the movie again and see if any of the points I’ve mentioned make sense.

    • Yes he was blind, many clues to it throughout the movie. However some wonder about the fight scenes, and how he could possibly fight while blind. One answer is the echo location but, I dare give another answer and that us god himself guided Eli. Maybe not in the direct movements of the fight, but god gave Eli the power and skill to do what needed be done. Don’t forget this is supposed to be gods work. God led eli to the brail bible. God put Eli on his path. And god was pissed when Eli was shot, as you can see the lightning strike at the same moment he was shot. During the shoot out Eli used the sound of the gang members shots to hone in on them but a lot of Eli’s kills were one shot, it can be argued god guided him through that as well. Don’t forget the spiritual aspect of the movie that goes along with the rational.

    • You forgot the scene when Salara & Eli are walking up the steps of the house and he kicks the step before noticing it was there. Therefore, blind

  6. I’ve watched the movie about 10 times now, cause I like it. But I’m not sold on the blind twist. Are we sure that’s what they’re saying. I know he’s reading braille, but that doesn’t mean he’s blind. He seems to be looking around at stuff a lot; out windows, etc.

  7. I’ve watched the movie only twice. But here is my take. Before the flash Eli was blind. After the flash he was given sight but not great vision. He was told by God to go out find the Bible and take it west. Now if I was blind and a big flash hits me and now I can see. I’m doing whatever the voice tells me. This is very similar to the bible story of Paul having sight and God blinding him for three days. My thought is Eli can’t see that well but still has the great senses of being blind for much of his life. So he has great hearing, touch, feel, etc. Once Eli begins to recite the Bible at the end of the movie the close up shows that he is blind again because of the greyish shades of his eyes. Also his mission is complete.

  8. I know this is an old debate but I’m watching this film again. It’s average at best anyway but I have to say that Denzel’s character must MUST be at least partially sighted. He goes to a house off the road and kicks the door in, he is constantly looking around. He kills a cat while wearing a gas mask through which it is very very difficult to hear and you can’t smell anything. He looks at the mouse and knows it’s a mouse (making a joke about cats) and not a rat or vole or shrew. He manages never to trip over. He finds a car and knows where the door is (as opposed to a van or truck or bike which presumably smells the same. He is not using echo-location (which is impossible for humans anyway as we do’t hear in high enough frequency). If he is blind then the filmmakers are asking us to believe he is guided by a divine being (how does he know what direction he is travelling in and how does he manage to stick to a road? Roads have bend and holes etc.) He cannot be blind unless we are to believe in divine inspiration. Watching a scene where he asks for the womans water, she says it’s in the cart and he immediately finds it – impossible if blind. He must be partially sighted at least or he just reads braille.

    • I agree with you Stefan. I’m sure they put some clues in to show hints of blindness, but there is way too much of him “looking around” all the time for me to buy into it. I liked the movie though.

  9. I love this movie! Why would God allow Eli to be wounded after he gave up the Bible? someone mentioned it was a test. That makes no sense to me. Anybody have better ideas?

  10. Yes it was a test for Eli but also a challenge for Carnegie. you see after Carnegie shoots Eli he say ‘Eli is just a man’ now at that time Carnegie puts God to test, and he thinks the battle is over. It was the start of Carnegie’s ruin. Talking about Eli, when he got shot,for a while he thought everything was over. But if that never happened, Eli wouldn’t have ever realized that the Bible that he read everyday was so caught up with him, he never needed a book. And now the scene where he was shot was the point where anybody could loose faith in God. And that’s where he was put to test. If Eli had lost faith in God probably he would have died and never got a chance to walk again towards the destination.

  11. even though there are many points that might make anyone think that eli is blind, he is not: As he hands the engineer some wet-wipes in exchange for a recharge of his device, he mentions chicken, and the wet-wipes are of KFC brand. if he has no sight he can not know that.

  12. Eli is blind. He clicks his tongue throughout the entire movie using echolocation to figure out where things are. He also taps things(car door, closet, house door) to hear the echo inside which would bounce off oobjects telling him whats there. The biggest hint to his blindness isnt even a hint. Its proof. When Carnegy opens the Bible and discovers its written in brail he freaks out saying “its impossible, HE cant be” repeatedly. Not “its impossible, IT cant be”. Theres so many other clues throughout the movie…waiting for things to move or attack before he makes his move, touching and grabbing things that wouldnt be necessary if he could see. Also, why would someone who could see know how to read brail? He read the Bible daily. That also tells you that he was either born blind or became blind at an early age(before the flash) as he was alone after the flash and had no one to teach him brail.

  13. Washington in the movie book of Eli was not blind. His character name never stated in movie he found the back pack with name Eli on it. He was helped by god. To me I suspect a cop or military before war and knew Braille because his own son or other family member was blind. Makes more sense. My father was blind and moved different then Denzel does in movie

    • Your father didn’t live in that world. It seems part of survival for a sight impaired individual involves not appearing “disabled.” Eli may not have been completely blind either.

  14. Maybe he was blind before everything got crazy and that’s why he can read the brail. I think god chose him as a prophet and gave him his vision back. It would explain why he had so much faith in God to protect him throughout the movie.

  15. He isnt blind at all. Sun hurts his eyes when he wakes up, and uses a bynocle.

  16. I think he was shot because he had strayed from his path by being involved with solara and he gave up the bible to save her. Then lightning struck in the background. I think the protection passed to solara at that time because she told him to not tell and was willing to die for the book’s protection. Then she caused the accident she walked away from. Her enemies perished or gave up and she helped him to the end and suited up to go back and get her mother with his tools, etc.

  17. In the bible, the high priest Eli was blind, and some might say that there are several scenes which may indicate that 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; 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.”; There is a scene where eli walks to the edge of an overpass that has a piece missing in the middle. a sighted person 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”. Also of you pay attention early on he has dog tags I think he was military at some point regardless he has time to learn and practice if he was blind but you must also think this movie is runs off of numinous parts in the bible and in the bible the man named Eli was a elderly man that his eyes were going dim ( he was old and going blind and soon would not be able to see but could still see the light of god) Denzel Washingtons character Eli was some what based off that if you don’t know many story’s from the bible just do some research you will find out what it is your wondering. His character was on some form blind if not all the way you do not have to be blind to read that bible you just have to have either learned it or been taught just cause you can see doesn’t mean you can’t read it who ever earlier stated that you are a sincere idiot. And for any one who says he couldn’t adjust remeber he is clearly over the ago of 50. The movie is not about science and knowing every thing it’s about faith Eli had faith in god he walked by faith not by sight and knew where he was going so yes maybe he wasn’t completely blind but he was close to it you can’t deny that

  18. Jackyman Elijaer Dooverdoodleinator

  19. The high priest eli was not blind. He was nearly blind and that was due to old age. In the movie nothing shows that he is blind besides the book being written in Braille. God gives him direction to the book because he is a man that can stay focused on his task of bringing the book to its final resting place. The movie shows the book in Braille for a twist on carnage’s behave with him being so anxious to have the book to creat power for himself but when finally after all his efforts obtaining the book it was useless because he can’t read it.

  20. Decades since the flash. That made Eli blind. So Eli had a Bible in Braille format. Everyone burnt the bibles in the film because they believed the bible was the cause of the nuclear war. God gave Eli his vision back because god gave Eli a mission to bring to safety, I assume the only King James Bible left in existence.. He could see! God gave him his eye sight back because he needed it and that plus the nature of his mission, gave Eli unmovable faith in the Lord Almighty.. “I was blind now I can see”..