1) What’s with Ben Kingsley’s face tattoo thing?
It’s probably the biggest, most important question anyone could possibly ask about this movie. It’s certainly the first thing that caught my attention in the otherwise not terribly captivating trailer. The presence of Sir Ben Kingsley is far from a guarantee that a movie will be stellar, but at the very least it’s a signal that maybe it will be slightly more interesting than if someone else was cast in his part (more on that later).
What’s going on with his face though? Apparently he’s playing a character named Mazer Rackham, who, according to the very superficial research I conducted, is half-Māori, the Māori people being (as surely we all know) the indigenous Polynesian population in New Zealand. Tattoos play a significant role in the cultural expression of the Māori people, most notably on the face, which is known as Tā moko.
Given Kingsley’s ambiguous-looking racial identity, his personal hue lends itself to allowing him a certain freedom to take on roles that draw from a variety of cultures, whether it’s Gandhi, or The Mandarin, or this indigenous New Zealander, Rackham. So I’m glad that’s settled.
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