It is as if Ra himself decreed it. The arrival of Netflix‘s Unknown: The Lost Pyramid, the same weekend in which audiences around the world collectively shrugged at the empty spectacle of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, couldn’t have been more appropriate. Because the only logical thing left to do after being let down by the far-too-long fifth Indy movie is to satisfy your craving for good old-fashioned adventure by playing the 84-minute documentary that Netflix’s algorithm cleverly tops. posted your home page. .
A spiritual sequel to 2020’s equally excellent The Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb, The Lost Pyramid is designed as a race against time quest to unearth the hidden treasures of Egypt’s Saqqara necropolis, a sprawling maze of crypts and crevices dating back more than 4,000 years. year. Our guide through this fascinating world is the legendary Dr. Zahi Hawass, who was such a fixture on television in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Dr. A lifelong showman, Hawass still dresses like a cross between Indiana Jones and Jay Leno – a fedora on his head and jeans on his back. On several occasions in the film, he compares himself to Harrison Ford’s famed adventurer, as he squeezes himself into narrow shafts, saunters through tight passages, and brings his gray face just inches from sarcophagi that have remained unopened for thousands of years.
Dr. Hawass seems unbothered by the possibility of contracting some disease in the graves, as he waddles around the excavation site without a mask, inhaling the fumes of the past and the dust of the present. His ‘opponent’ in the film – or so he is initially positioned – is the equally famous archaeologist Dr. To add to the drama of watching these two legends battle against time to discover as many hidden artifacts as possible, we are told that Dr. during the day.
He remains in awe of his old mentor, and there is a sense that he even modeled his looks after him. But in comparison, he is a more careful person. Dr. Waziry makes sure to hide before descending shafts, and in one scene, flinches when he smells something nasty in the air after breaking open a coffin. He takes a moment to catch his breath as he grabs his knees, then orders everyone in the crowded underground room to be careful. At another point, he appears to be cursing the ancient Egyptian responsible for embalming the mummy he just discovered for doing shoddy work 2,000 years ago. Because of that poor man’s substandard handiwork, Dr. Waziry is left empty-handed.
Despite the endearing eccentricity on display, there is a rather romantic undercurrent to this scene. It is as if past and present are having a direct conversation. You can almost imagine that the old embalmer was dejected because he had failed the explorer from the future.
But Dr. Hawass, on the other hand, is a much more rambunctious personality, as he always has been. Even back in the day when he hosted programs on the Discovery Channel and Nat-Geo, it was clear that the man knew how to choose the charm in front of the camera. In The Lost Pyramid, he speaks in blurbs and unleashes zinger after zinger that, to people interested in this sort of thing, will function as pure catnip. His narration is captivating and enlightening in equal measure, and the film does a good job of not overwhelming the audience with unnecessary information. We get just enough to stay invested in the mission at hand: finding the lost tomb of Huni, the last pharaoh of Egypt’s third dynasty.
As time runs out, both Dr. Hawass as Dr. Waziry their efforts on their respective excavations and they discover some truly magnificent treasures. Even if it’s clear that both archaeologists don’t really harbor the kind of animosity towards each other that the movie initially suggested, as a viewer you stay involved in their separate quests, because they ultimately serve a cause greater than themselves. For far too long, say doctors Hawass and Waziry, Western explorers have walked away with all the credit for making historical discoveries in Egypt – Howard Carter is mentioned more than once. It is their shared passion to shed light on Egyptian achievements and rekindle national pride that makes The Lost Pyramid, like The Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb before it, a more meaningful experience than you could have initially imagined.
Unknown: the lost pyramid
Director — Max Solomon
Judgement – 4.5/5
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