MODERN PROMETHEUS

MODERN PROMETHEUS

 (Or)

Looking at film through Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Immaterial as it may be our opinion on this state, the movies that our generation will be associated with will be the comic book movie, three words now very close to my heart.

The comic book movie now, is the film noir of the past, the western of its time, a broad genre defining a certain time and recalling a certain sentiment. Like the above genres that have been mentioned, the comic book movie will surely get its due, but only in the future.

This sudden construction of a pedestal for the comic book movie is because I truly believe that the comic book movie has in fact erased the boundaries between word and visual which is something every great literary adaptation aims to be, comic books being truly the most visual amongst the printed forms of literature. The comic book movie is also accelerator in the fusion of the genres, and this is because of the variety that each comic character offer.

“Man creates his own demons”

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In Age of Ultron, Tony Stark fears for the future of the planet and creates a protective force under the hood. Ultron would be A.I enabled Iron Men to be called onto provide eternal peace for our planet, but as we can all guess, this save the world vanity project (TDKR reference done) goes not only out of hand but also turns back on its creator.

If we are looking to track the genetic genealogy of Avengers: Age of Ultron, then it is most certainly Mary Shelley’s gothic classic Frankenstein, only increment action here and there and populate the screen with powerful beings.

Some of the problems that people had with Ultron was that, the movie did not perhaps have a powerful villain, but I found that this movie had more character than its predecessor; because here (Ultron) there is no reason to create a powerful villain to justify and the characters have already been established.

The end is a more relaxed picture, where the intention is not to be blown away by the graphics of it all, but to go on this adventure with this bunch of misfits who are now emotionally charged rather than charged with heroics, and there is the inter-super banter!

Whedon also indulges momentarily into 1950s territory, the super hero movie giving way to over the bar talk between the troubled in-love damsel (Natasha Romanoff played by the super talented ScarJo) and the world weary-cynical-removed hero (Dr. Bruce Banner). A masterstroke of a love track between the noises.

This is the kind of genre inter-operate ability that is interesting for me to watch.

With Marvel trying to impress us with release dates for mega movies in the years to come, an Avengers movie is no longer about why and how the Avengers trounce their enemies, but about the characters, these heroes and their feelings, the setting, the worlds, the words. Action and villains can take the rear.

I was a partial Marvel movie convert after Iron-Man 3 and a fully changed man after the second Captain America flick and it seems I will remain so after Ultron. I hope that these films are seen beyond than what they are intended for, but I am sure it will now be an un-ignorable thing in the recent future, but right now if you go and tell your friend that Avengers:Ultron is about the perils of creativity and questions if man can really play God, super-men in this case, you will probably be chuckled at.

Post Script to Ultron

**** Captain America is amazing! (as if we needed to tell you that, this is also my answer to “which is your favourite avenger?” question”

****Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic horror novel Frankenstein was subtitled Modern Prometheus as it mirrored the mythical tale, we have smartly made it the title for our Avengers: Ultron piece (we are amazing!). Our subtitle of course is over ambitious, I must confess.

****This piece was written under the utter influence of the Ultron soundtrack, specifically the “heroes” track. Soundtrack composed bby Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman.

**** Most of the times when we say Ultron we mean Avengers: Age of Ultron the movie and not the villain.

Thank you for reading.

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WHAT THEY DO UNDER THE BLANKETS

CK AND MM AT THE MOVIES: O KADHAL KANMANI

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Moderate Manohar approached the end of the corridor with much hesitation, in his hands was an envelope, the fine-ness of it indicated its foreign nature. As the door creaked to an open, he could see Caustic head down on the table, the room only filled with the soft electronic buzz of an unsaved word document.

“CK, the appointment has come….” Began Mod quite loudly.

MM: CK, the appointment has come!

CK: huh…what?

MM: the appointment from Chicago Sun Times, it came in the mail just now.

CK< widens smile>: IS it? Wow when are we leaving?

MM: Not we.

CK: huh?

MM: It’s only me they want, as in…they can only accommodate me right now.

<A little background here, CK and MM quite fed up with their lives in Chennai had applied for the post of resident movie reviewers in Chicago, although CK was sceptical about working abroad, he finally realised its importance and was quite looking forward to it, now everything had just fallen flat for him>

CK took a moment, or maybe even shorter than that to recover and went ahead and patted MM on the shoulder.

CK: “Great, you are taking this up right?”

The room was again filled with MM’s hesitation and the soft electronic buzz.

Some higher power intervened in the form of the editor who barged in unannounced like he owned the place, in fact he did.

Aye Sinamika Tamil Lyrics – OK Kanmani

“CK!MM!, OKK review on my table, fifteen minutes, already every major media and everyone with a Facebook account has already written a lot about it. We shouldn’t miss out.” The editor walked out with the same pace.

MM: Let’s discuss the movie first, later perhaps…

CK: Nevermind…whenever it suits you.

MM: Should we start with the bit about how bold Mani Ratnam is, making a film on live-in relationships?

CK: No….this isn’t about that, I mean at least I feel so, it isn’t.

MM: Should I wait for you to tell what’s it about?

CK: It is about validation of love, this whole live in relationship thing is to keep it all contemporary and all that… you know like that skype call and the iPad song

MM: So contemporary that they have T.M Krishna’s latest book “A Southern Music” in the shelf somewhere in PrakashRaj’s house

CK: Understandable, considering the fact that Leela Samson plays an Alzheimer’s affected Carnatic singer, oh my god their walls are the same colour as the zari of the Kanchipuram sarees that these singers wear for concerts, so much richness. Also Thanjavur painting, it is the stuff upper middle class dreams are made of

MM: let’s come to the production design bits later, let us get back to the validation of love part, I think that this is a new concept, the exploration of live-ins

CK: No..no ..Mod, that’s what the director wants you to believe, to linger on the surface, the whole movie is about Tara and nobody else. Tara is the updated version of the Mouna Raagam Revathy.

MM: hmm..wild, willing to break rules and attracted to rash lover boy types and bored with domesticity etc…

CK: exactly, but she is also in a way the Agni Nakshatram Nirosha, not giving a damn because of a troubled past. Tara here hates marriage because her parent’s divorce affects her even now.

MM: But she falls for Aadi….they both fall for each other.

CK: Yes, but she never thinks much of him, atleast he is thankfully never full of himself, he just says “he will become rich like Gates etc”, she doesn’t think much of his game development career also when compared to her overtly passion filled love for architecture, she really doesn’t want anything serious.

MM: so when she really does realise she loves him anyway, he is about to go and he has already done something, but still she will only want him to say it. < “Marriage”>

CK: Yes enough instances to prove that this is a Tara fuelled relationship and not a flirty boy meets serious girl cute love story. First call back, first kiss even, all initiated by Tara.

MM: I see…where this is going, but what about Bhavani and Ganapathy, where do they actually fit in?

CK: they are clear examples for Tara to believe that a traditional relationship can work, she seems to be the one who is most affected by the happenings in their lives. Again a validation that she requires for secure love, in the end she isn’t clear about her career.

MM: So this is how is it going to be written? I mean this line of thought?

CK: What other is there? Isn’t this plain as daylight?

MM: No…no…what about the actors? The setting…the music and PC’s camera work, he seems to have let out this beast of a camera on this couple and the writing itself?

CK: Isn’t it what the others will also be saying? Mumbai trains and rains, mornings with pigeons flying, tastefully lighted blanket interiors and characters who alternate between sophistication and words of yore (“ummanamoonji! Kadavul”), the director’s insistence that friends of protagonists be as beautiful as them, etc, isn’t it what the others will also be writing or already written? OK we can write such stuff as well.

MM: Hmm..yes I think, I haven’t read any of them…in totality I liked the film, even from this love-validation-security angle you are coming from

CK: that’s the only angle I like the film from, and also Nitya Menen’s eyes.

MM: Surely we will throw in a bit about Nitya Menen’s eyes and what about Mani Ratnam’s comeback?

CK: What about it?

The editor walked in again, looked at the manuscript and said, “Throw in a few words about Nitya Menen’s eyes and about Mani Ratnam’s comeback, also meet-cute love story of our times etc”

MM: Yes sir, it’s there

Editor: Good, good Manohar, so this will be your final filing for my magazine…congrats on your appointment in Chicago. As for you CK, you are stuck with me for life.

CK: That, I am, sir.

CK went back to his table to file the final copy, but in the ruckus that the foreign appointment had created, he forgot to mention that the video game within the movie had a more interesting storyline than the movie itself and about The Shining reference he had caught in the film.

It was at this time MM said, “We need to talk”