Jurassic World and the return of wonder

The other day I saw the trailer for the new Jurassic World movie and shared it with my friends. We squealed like school girls quite unlike world weary adults that we are, and decided that June 2018 was a long time to wait. This movie is special to our generation because as kids it was probably one of the first movies we saw in theatres which brought a different world alive to us. Sadly they haven’t kept the magic alive. Jurassic World was a waste of a brilliant premise. Dinosaurs paraded around like cattle. People riding dinosaurs like donkeys isn’t what we come to see in cinemas. A big mela but with dinosaurs as a spectacle for the movie going audience. Frankly I was underwhelmed.

There is a line in the movie, “No one is impressed by a dinosaur anymore and the kids look at it like it’s an elephant”, which I quite agree with. The number of herbivores roaming around in lush greenery was unbelievable. Ever heard of the phrase too much of a good thing?

Dinosaurs used for military purposes was bizarre and we actually see them hunt like a pack of wolves. Evolutionarily hounds didn’t come into picture until much later. In a movie aimed at kids there was too much violence. Or perhaps I’m just old school.

Filling in the gaps in genome with the genes of other animals (like the ability to camouflage from the tree frog) was far from believable. But some parts were shown well like imprinting, rearing in isolation and an animal figuring out its place in the food chain.

I couldn’t channel the 6 year old in me to keep pace with the 10 year olds who were watching it with me. My movie viewing was peppered with far too many questions than I’d have liked. (Note to self – never take two 10 year olds to the movies together.) The solo movie going experience is delightful and more immersive as you are left alone with your thoughts. I realized, barring a few close friends I am now used to watching movies alone and I like it that way (will wonders never cease?). But it was also quite nice. I was sneaking looks to see the expressions on their faces to gauge if they were following the story and enjoying the movie or were scared so I will be prepared accordingly. When there was a blood curling scream and my young cousin sank into her seat petrified I realized there is no preparation here, you learn on the spot. (Parents have my utmost respect.)

My grandpa didn’t utter one word. Nor did he flinch during the action sequences or exclaim when the sounds were an assault on the eardrums (that was the case 90% of time). When I asked him something he answered in monosyllables. He was watching it all unfold with a quiet smile on his face. Wait was it because of his cataracts? Guess I will never know. He was the one that insisted on going to the movie apart from my cousins. Those kids are always raring to go and I never take their indefatigable enthusiasm for granted. Even though I could relate to their wonder and excitement, seeing their faces I realized the world does take a toll on you (read adulting sucks).

Two decades from Jurassic Park to Jurassic World, from childhood to adulthood, it’s been a long journey. Jurassic Park was the first movie I saw in the hall. So much has changed since then. It seems just like yesterday in my mind’s eye. I can see a little girl wearing a frock excited about seeing a movie in the hall. How time flies. What do we remember and how much of it is accurate, is debatable. Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending has taught me that. Memories don’t stay the same, they are coloured and twisted to fit into our present reality. What we remember then becomes the reality not what actually happened.

Sometimes you are glad it’s the movies. There will be an ending to the story and mostly it is happy (that’s strectching it a bit but please go with it). Where in life are we guaranteed that. Fundamentally you remain the same but you have also changed without being aware of it. You grow into a person and take a shape best equipped to survive in this ever-changing mad chaotic world. In other words, you become like an Amoeba. Well, you can never take biology out of a life science student that much is certain, and thank God for such certainties.

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