Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The symbolism of a Superhero

As a young boy, I remember watching the classic fantasy movie “The clash of Titans” - a beautifully crafted Grecian mythological film : The Hero Perseus, a mortal battling all odds against demonic forces, aided in unexpected ways by forces unknown; eventually banishing Hades, the Lord of the underworld to his rightful place; and rescues pretty Andromeda from the jaws of death. A simple story, often told and repeated in cultures across the globe in flavors that are local to it (Ramayana is one such story). As a child we were reared with these immortal heroes at our bedsides. They dominated our dreams, and in a subconscious manner, we aspired the same glory as them. The Superman’s, Spiderman’s and the Batman’s are then externalizations and manifestations of this inner need to transcend and extend ourselves, beyond the limited little self, that we are. They are our modern day heroes. We relish the accomplishments, miracles and physical impossibilities of these 'larger than life' characters. Deep down, we want to be like them and live out of our skins, literally speaking…

Somehow as we grow older, we lose this awesome sense of wonder and the ability to dream without restraint. We are advised by society to be “grounded” in reality, to be practical; not realizing that doors of infinite possibilities only open up when the mind loses itself in the stratosphere of impossibilities. By the time we are adolescents, we are half dead to life, and the remaining half is spent “making a living” . The energy and imagination that we had a child is crushed, mutilated and relegated to some remote corner of our brain, which every now and then peeps out to remind us of what we have lost or forgone in this business of living.

Today afternoon, I was watching the remake of “The clash of Titans’, released in 2010; and I was riveted to the screen for two hours lost in the magical world of mythological heroism. In the very last scene, Perseus dismisses Hades from his presence by telling him “That gods are not needed in the world of Men”, the ultimate proclamation of Man’s heroism and his tremendous sense of self belief and courage to challenge the order of Universe and fiery resolve to chart his own destiny.

The Movie had a cathartic effect on me. I was washed in the imagery of myths and symbols; and for some time basked in my own immortality, before a cruel phone call woke me from my reverie. The Fragrance still lingers though…….

God bless……

1 comment:

ravi said...

This innate and over powering need to master and control people and surroundings is the reason for the downfall of humans don't you think