The hand of the “flabby devil” is apparent in the travesties of administration and the widespread decay in the Company’s stations. The colonials in the coastal station spend all their time blasting a cliff for no apparent reason, machinery lies broken all around, and supplies are poorly apportioned, resting in abundance where they are not needed and never sent to where they are needed. Given the level of waste and inefficiency, this kind of colonial activity clearly has something other than economic activity at stake, but just what that something might be is not apparent. Marlow’s comments on the “flabby devil” produce a very ambivalent criticism of colonialism. Would Marlow approve of the violent exploitation and extortion of the Africans if it was done in a more clear-sighted and effective manner? This question is difficult to answer definitively.
Literary critic Harold Bloom wrote that Heart of Darkness had been analysed more than any other work of literature that is studied in universities and colleges, which he attributed to Conrad's "unique propensity for ambiguity." However, it was not a big success during Conrad's life.   When it was published as a single volume in 1902 with two more novellas, "Youth" and "The End of the Tether", it received the least commentary from critics.  F. R. Leavis referred to Heart of Darkness as a "minor work" and criticised its "adjectival insistence upon inexpressible and incomprehensible mystery".  Conrad himself did not consider it to be particularly notable.  By the 1960s, though, it was a standard assignment in many college and high school English courses.
The later pages of the script mainly serve to afford Fawcett lots of grandstanding opportunities to, for instance, correct RGS members who call jungle inhabitants “savages.” I’ll admit I can’t delineate the precise parameters of savagery, but when I see a man clad only in a G-string who decorates his lair with human skulls and whose supper is a human body seen roasted on a spit, I feel fairly confident that we’re in the ballpark. Contra those white-privileged toffs back home, Fawcett becomes the cannibals’ most ardent cheerleader: They’re merely ingesting the spirit of the dead man, he argues. In a scene that is filmed with evocative, bordello-sensuous lighting and scored with soothing ambient music of the sort you’d hear in a spa, Gray makes it look as though it would be not a tragedy but an honor to close out one’s earthly existence as the plat du jour at the original Rainforest Café. So the lesson of the film is not “Man is cruel to man” or “A dangerous fever strikes men in the heart of darkness” or “Vanity has a price,” but the more defensive “Every culture is great, really.” Who are we to judge the snacking preferences of the average Amazonian tribesperson, Gray asks. People are people, he insists. Even people who eat other people.