MovieChat Forums > The Last Wave (1977) Discussion > Richard Chamberlain's mask

Richard Chamberlain's mask


At the end, he seems to take (and lose) a mask of his own face. Am I right ?

What does that mean exactly ?

He's a reincarnation of the mulkuluk (not sure of the name) or the aborigines created the mask to recognize him when he's born ?

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I'd guess that it's a funerary mask, as the priests where buried there in the chamber. It's common in some cultures for people to be buried with masks cast from their faces to be places on the corpses. Note that he takes the mask, the staff, and a statue and manages to lose all three before he's out of the cave...

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Ok but why is there got a funerary mask of him ?

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My sense was that the main idea is that people in industrialized society have become estranged from their mystical connection to nature, from their mystical selves. In those final scenes, he reaches his true self, recognizes his former being as just a mask. Momentarily, he tries to hold onto his now unmasked self, but having entered the dreamworld (and having perceived that an apocalypse is imminent), he sheds his earthly, limited self and emerges ready to die and thereby achieve spiritual truth.

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Yeah, that kind of makes sense, although I'm guessing you meant to say that he tries to hold onto to his former masked self, rather than his now unmasked self. For me this is the most mysterious scene of the film, yet perhaps also the key scene.

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In the aboriginal secret place David found stuff that was relevant to his spiritual ancestral past...like the stones were to Chris and Charlie. I think that's all we really need to know, because as others have noted, he loses them before he gets back to the surface.

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