It was a lazy Sunday afternoon; Amma gave me a plate of anna and rasam. Years before, this would have been tedious. I would have had to pat the VCR twice or thrice to get it to work. But it was easier now, the laptop hummed into life and I pressed play. Fifteen minutes into Jurassic World and I had only seen a baby dinosaur remove a piece of shell from its eye. No one had been eaten yet.
But first, imagine this:
- Two little kids, stuck in a car away from the others, get attacked by a huge dinosaur, don’t get eaten up, manage to escape through a shattered window, wander around the forest, go to the mainland, reunite with their people, and go home.
- One man, quite ambitious, works for InGen, takes over InGen just like that, tries to make a dinosaur his captive, gets eaten.
- Rich parents fund child’s trip to the dinosaur island, realise that dinosaurs could be dangerous, freak out, find kids, go home.
- Bad dinosaur gets out of its enclosure, bad dinosaur eats people, good dinosaur gets out, dinosaurs fight, bad dinosaur dies, good dinosaur sort of smiles at the hot guy, and goes home.
If you have watched a Jurassic Park or Godzilla movie, then you know what I’m talking about.
Almost a decade later, Jurassic world is released. A movie that I, as a Jurassic Park fan, had more than eagerly waited for. After making themselves at home on three Costa-Rican islands, I couldn’t wait to watch how much the dinosaurs would venture out to conquer the world.
The movie takes off when the dinosaur fools a few of the so-called smartest people in the park by getting everyone to think it climbs a wall, while hiding under a big bush all the while. It then tricks them into opening a human-sized door while it escapes from a dinosaur-sized one. A more WWE-kind of move to make, considering its ancestors knew how to snap every wire on the high-voltage electric panel one by one, and make a dramatic entrance.
To get her fussy daughter to eat, I remember how Amma used to show me Jurassic Park pictures in the magazine while narrating the same story over and over when I was two; about twenty years ago, that is. “At a distance they heard the fence snap. That curious little boy switched on the high-beam flash light” she would start, “Dinosaurs are attracted to light. Seeing the dinosaur they froze. They didn’t switch the flash off, and it charged at them”. The dinosaur would then kick the fluorescent coloured car, the car would overturn, and the glass would break. The kids would inevitably escape from the huge dinosaur, and hide in the forest for a while. Finally, they would escape from the island altogether.
Jurassic world, of course, had a fancier car, a transparent round one that rolled around when kicked. And instead of hiding, the kids jumped into a clear blue waterfall to escape.
The classic human-dinosaur confrontation in the main InGen office couldn’t be left out either. And what would the Jurassic movies be without our male lead protectively bending over his clan, spreading his muscular arms around them to fend off the huge dinosaurs. Everyone clings to this one poor man while he looks the dino in the eye as though to say, “Tumne mujhe aisa dhoka kyun diya? Maine tumhe kya nahi diya! Aur tumne mujhe chod diya!”, nazron-nazron mein pleading it to let him save the day.
Rumour has it that the dinosaur understands his silent plea. By some miracle of fate the dinosaurs turn on their own clan, and the smaller ones are eaten by a bigger one, while the humans run between their legs and out into the open.
If you ignore the human faces in, both, the first three Jurassic Park movies, and Jurassic World, you are watching the same movie. Even though Jurassic World’s dinosaurs felt like almost-perfect recreations of the ones in Jurassic Park, everything else felt like a kichidi from which I had to save my own memories of the first three movies. It made go back and binge-watch the originals