wogma rating: Owner's Pride! (?)
Steven Spielberg’s epic that was ‘65 million years in the making’ is back in theatres, this time in 3D. This is your chance – relive magic of the kind rarely seen in or even imagined in cinema.Read more
In over a quarter of a century of my unflinching and passionate romance with cinema, I’ve only ever jumped out of my seat once, in reaction to the goings-on in a film. That was two decades ago, in 1993, during what was one of the earliest movies I ever watched on the big screen and my first Hollywood film ever – Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. Today, two decades later, it happened again. The film? Jurassic Park in 3D. And once again, I jumped during the exact same scene that startled the bollocks out of me as a naïve and impressionable 7-year old.
Indeed, as I saw frame after frame of grand vision after so long, all those childhood memories of experiencing true magic for the first time in my life came gushing back; movies had always fascinated me even before Jurassic Park, but there in front of me were magnum frames of the kind that I hadn’t ever seen before, not even when, less than a year earlier, I watched Amitabh Bachchan, standing in the deserts of Afghanistan, thunder, ‘Mera naam Badshah Khan hai!’
Whether the 3D re-release of the film was called for at all is a discussion for another day. Now that the film is back in theatres, it is time to celebrate the film and the man who made it. Who can forget those iconic shots and scenes, like the first time Sam Neill, who plays a paleontologist, a man whose life has been devoted to imagining what dinosaurs must have been like after excavating their skeletons, spots a real live, walking and breathing dinosaur, a gigantic brachiosaurus, in front of him. Or those terrifying scenes where the T-Rex escapes its paddock in the nighttime, unleashing its terror on two unarmed vehicles, one of them with children in it. Or that scene with the velociraptors in the kitchen. Unforgettable moments of cinema history, which were brought to life because of the visionary conviction of Steven Spielberg.
Yes, this time round, I couldn’t help noticing how broadly the characters have been painted. The simplistic manner in which they observe and react, the predictable side track about Sam Neill’s reluctant paternal instincts, the manner in which Laura Dern’s character is shown to break gender stereotypes, Jeff Goldblum’s manic naysayer with a roving eye or even the great Richard Attenborough’s kindly eccentricity; all of them seem too vanilla – something Spielberg has been accused of throughout his phenomenal career. But with this one, critics can take a hike – this film is for those wide-eyed little ones with imaginations that us adults left behind years ago. As I keep saying, it is sheer movie magic, created with spectacular technical wizardry.
If there is one thing Hollywood deserves credit for, it is ambition. They’ve time and again pushed the limits of scale, vision and VFX in cinema, sparing no cost in attempting to achieve the impossible. Yet, so many years since Spielberg’s cult blockbuster made hair, all across the world, stand on its end, I believe they are yet to surpass what was achieved with Jurassic Park. And yes, even if you aren’t the greatest fan of watching films in 3D, this is one film where the 3D never hurts the eye and adds great depth to frames; enough, at least, for you to not mind the glasses at all.
So if you watched the film in the theatre years back and loved it, or if you have children who’ve never watched the film, or if you yourself have never watched it, or if you have parents who haven’t watched, or – well the list is endless, I suggest you visit or re-visit the film in theatres. You may have aged, but Jurassic Park has not.
This review is by guest reviewer Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.
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