Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The core of the problem

A vessel criss-crossing vast expanses of water across continents, carrying people and cargo is known as a 'ship'. A vehicle traversing the terrains of space, reaching out to the farthest corners of the milky way and beyond is called a 'spaceship'. How would you term a capsule that's designed to carry passengers, machinery, tools and nuclear load to the 'core of the earth'? An 'earthship' ... a 'geoship' or something else?

In fact, irrespective of it's nomenclature, it's pretty intriguing a concept, isn't it?

Well, I got to watch a movie on the TV the other day and was immediately pushed to the edge of my imagination, after a long time. It's about a group of American volunteers, from various walks of life, virtually sacrificing their lives, to protech mankind ... as it always happens in those great American sci-fi fantasies, where a bunch of Yankees take it upon themselves to save the world from the clutch of imminent extinction, due to some terrible natural disaster. The movie under consideration is about a set of people, including one representing the NASA, a geo physicist, a post graduate university professor, a nuclear physicist, a space craft engineer, a navigation specialist ... can't remember the exact mix ... seven of them in all ... joining together on a mission, to get inside a capsule, specially designed, almost resembling a screw, with laser projection systems at the fore, to drill through the earth, piercing the crust after reaching the bottom of the ocean, to go through various layers of the earth, facing deadly challenges in each stage with great American gusto, finally reaching the 'core', to bombard it with a pre-calculated loads of nuclear ammo.

All this and more apparently to 'stablise' the core that has been destabilised for some geo-physical reason which has created waves of mammoth and irreversible natural disasters and destructions, around the globe, sounding the bells of "dooms day".

Well, I must admit, the film is worth watching simply for the reasons of ingenuity of the plot, the quality of the performances of the protagonists and of course for the surreal special effects perfectly suited for a high intensity sci-fi. But, my contention is not the quality of production but the subject itself.

Why do film makers, more so in the Western World, make movies those depict onset of natural phenomenon of incredible proportions or disaster upon this earth, for reasons created by man or otherwise, and how human beings fight tooth and nail, assisted by huge advances in technology, with the impending disaster to prevent complete wipe out of humantiy from the face of the earth.

What's the purpose? Is it just stretching the limits of imagination and fear in the minds of the cine going audience to rake in the moolahs? Or is it to put to use the ever evolving movie making techniques and SFX to create the scale and hoopla around emerging trends of entertainment? Or is it simply man's desire to convince himself that he has the willingness, abilities, means and resources to take nature head-on, at any given circumstance, and emerge victorious in protecting its existence against any natural onslaught, caused by his own insensitivities.

Hope we will live another day to find the answers ...

Pics courtesy: travelblat.com

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