Saturday, March 25

2012 prelude: Dissection and symbolism


THANKS to the genius of Rolland Emmerich, ‘2012’ is the fifth highest grossing film of this year, and the 33rd of all time. With reference to Mayanism, the film portrays the cataclysmic events unfolding in the year 2012 following the heating up of the Earth’s crust.What follows in the movie — outlining the brilliant visual effects — is what makes this movie a must-see. Crustal displacement, world chaos, tsunamis, and other unimaginable catastrophes will glue the viewer to his seat throughout the duration of two hours and 38 minutes that seems to pass so quickly.

In deeper analysis, much can be said about this movie. From its clever concept to tantalising visual effects, the movie renders the best. First, there’s the depiction of the black President, symbolizing Obama as the last President of the United States, before the world plunges into Doomsday.

The alignment of China and India in this movie is highly accurate. India, the home of Information Technology and outsourcing, is given the position of the discoverer of the doomsday. The position India occupies, reflects the much talked about superpower phenomenon it possesses, together with countries like Brazil and Russia.

China, notorious for its cheap labour and unquestionable loyalty, supplies the creators of the giant ships called Arks — with reference to Noah’s Ark. The ship, which is to be boarded by high government officials, selected individuals like the Queen and her two dogs, and others who can pay for the ticket worth one million euro, is the saviour of the human race.

Africa, coming at the end, gives hope to a new life with its raised land mass above sea level compared to other continents, with Drakensberg KwaZulu Natal becoming the Himalaya of the new world. Tired of being oppressed and in poverty, Africa champions the new age as the only unperturbed continent.

Northern Wisconsin, having being pushed to the South Pole, denotes the destruction of the world’s superpower. Truth be told, the South Pole is poorer and underdeveloped compared to the North Pole. South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia bear witness to this. Though with snippets of few that are an aberration like South Africa and Australia, the rest hymns a universe.

The movie talks of surviving, loyalty and family. Throughout, the viewers are taken on a bumpy journey with landslides, crumbling skyscrapers, blazing fires and mega-tsunamis, as John Cusack and the cast escape catastrophes in an effort to reach the ships.

With the stepdad (played by Thomas McCarthy) dead, Cusack’s character assumes the position as the father and husband. The journey brings love between a father and his son — who previously hated his father with every bone in his body. The quest towards removing the drill entrenched between the gears renews their relationship.

The loyalty of ‘Obama’, to stay back and die with his people intertwines with the bravery of the Chinese guards and others, working on the ship who ended up not boarding it. The president stands on the front line, whilst death encroaches, being the commander in chief and the powerless protector of the American people.

The movie tells of the world’s reality about the treatment of heroes and those deserving of recognition. The Indian scientist, who first discovered the heating of the Earth’s crust, is denied the opportunity to board the giant vessel in the name of ‘being forgotten’, thus left to die in the giant tsunami with his wife and son.

The perfection of this movie that never falls short, is ever-dynamic, moving you from one scene to the other with an upbeat tempo that is mixed with magnificent visuals, denying you the sense of time this movie runs for.

According to an interview with ‘USA Today’, the director of this blockbuster film, Roland Emmerich stated that this would be his last disaster film. “I said to myself that I’ll do one more disaster movie, but it has to end all disaster movies. So I packed everything in,” he said.

Emmerich is famous for his catastrophic blockbusters like ‘Independence Day’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. He has also directed other famous films like ‘The Patriot’ and ‘10,000 BC’.

He revisits his thesis film ‘The Noah’s Ark Principle’ in ‘2012’ with the concept of the ships — the Arks — that saved the humanity from extinction. Emmerich is accredited with extensive visual effects, scientific plots and disaster films, though his critics pans him for cliché story lines.

I have been fascinated by this movie due to its special effects, story line, symbolism and the actual importance of 2012, which will be explained in the coming Sunday’s column. As we are celebrating the Christmas Season, I wish all my esteemed readers, a Merry Christmas.