30 Apr 2018

Avengers: Infinity War – In the midst of a revolution

Avengers: Infinity War: A review of a revolution

Disclaimer: Lest you’re worried: no spoilers in here!

If you’ve been for MCU’s Avengers: Infinity War or planning to go for it then obviously, you’ve been devouring enough information about the film, the Infinity Stones, the characters, who wins, who loses and how does it all happen. I did manage to catch it over the weekend and with all the Infinity Stones out there what I did walk out with is the knowledge that we are now in the grip of a revolution.

Okay, let’s step back here

Way back in the 80s when home video took over, everyone proclaimed that theatre-going would be a thing of the past. Well, it is in a way. You now have newer theatres, you had Dolby sound, 3D, 4D even 6D theatres. But no, theatre going is no longer a thing of the past. What’s past is, for sure, the prices you paid and the size of the popcorn pack (uh-huh – no buckets at that time).

So, let’s get back to the movie. You want a review. Here it is. The rating? A galactic five-star rating – and that’s not for the film by the way! Here are some reasons Infinity Wars just took you into another era of movie viewing

Infinity Wars: The Star Cast

And since we are talking about stars let’s talk about all 72 or 89 or however many there are! More importantly, the constellation of actors – all the Chrises, the Toms, the Scarlett and the Gwyneth, the (one and only OMG!) Benedict Cumberbatch, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr, Letitia, and Wong as Wong … and that’s not even half of them and not in that order, not in that order at all. They are all there in their futuristic glory. A coming together of the best of the best. And you oscillate wildly between sitting back knowing one more superhero has joined in the fray to help avenge the cause (YESSSS!) to once again biting your nails because oh-my-God this guy is something else and that superpower is obviously not working! (SIGH!)

Infinity Wars: The plot

The plot moves from Asgard (now in shambles) to different parts of the Earth (Scotland included) and the Universe and ends up in Wakanda for the epic battle between Thanos and the rest – an ultimate endeavor to prevent Thanos from owning and gaining insurmountable powers that come from acquiring all the Infinity Stones. (That Thanos: he is quite another blog altogether. Wait for it)

Hold on to your nachos

The plot does not let you sit back and enjoy your nachos. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, with that nacho chip suspended mid-air, your mouth open, as Gamora makes a valiant attempt at overpowering Thanos, or as Thor (now without his legendary hammer) is silenced with curved steel plates (I could use those for some people, but I digress) and you watch hand on mouth as Loki falls. Loki! Loki?!!! Yes. (Won’t say more!)

Still holding on to your nachos?

You can feel the wild swings between disappointment as one superhero is vanquished and palpable excitement as another one wins. It couldn’t be more tightly braided than this plot with its clever twists and turns. Turns and overturns. And the final turning back. Or forward… (Okay, I promised no spoilers!) No, if you’ve seen it you know what I mean. If you’ve not, keep your nachos till the end 

Infinity Wars: The production values

To talk of special effects in a Marvel movie is like talking about the existence of songs in the latest Bollywood movie! Duh-huh. You don’t do it. You just watch as these special effects get better and better, more and more incredible, so incredible in fact that the whole universe in which we are transported in a Marvel movie is as credible as the seat you are sitting on and the popcorn you are eating (or was it nachos?). What I’d like to think about is the imagination that has run riot while the sets were being designed. That’s some imagination multiplied Fourteen Million six hundred and five times! And then there’s the humour around it… which brings me to the next point.

Infinity Wars: The script

(I saved the best for the last.  My favourite in any film critique.)

Let’s start with the fact that this spectacle you are watching in the fancy IMAX/3D theatre first started on pressed grass or molasses – it started as a humble comic, on paper, a graphic novel, if you want it in today’s terminology! A medium where it was just words and still pictures. Illustrations to be exact. The script, the words, the idioms, the dialogues, the spars, the comebacks – in that medium are all-important, they are everything. The make the plot, they move the plot, they make us love or hate the characters, they define their fate, they keep us turning page after page, even if it is (or was in those days) in torchlight reading under the bed!

Was it the action? Or the script?

Fortunately (and thank heavens for that) the film does not take that away from the flat, single-dimensional medium. The script interwoven with the plot and the characters helps move the plot swiftly forward, now getting emotional, now victorious, now with an insight and now a little joke, now a small observation – all adding to the final jewel in the crown of the film – complete engagement and entertainment. Each of the characters has his or her own idiosyncrasies – and without losing out on it the script, skillfully maneuvers around each one’s little stories and eccentricities – Spiderman’s teenage world as he interrupts his trip to the MoMA to save the world, Ironman’s failed promises, Star Lord’s clumsiness, the wry humour of Rocket, the jokes around him – the way Thor respectfully addresses him or even refers to him as Rabbit and then promptly offers him the Captaincy! (And Captain I shall become), the recalcitrant Hulk and of course, the teenage Groot in a constant ‘prayer position’ and with roughly the conversational inclination of a teenager! The dialogues interwoven with each of the characters alternatively charm, amuse and scintillate, making it as much an adult delight as it would be for the teen and child enthusiasts!

Infinity Wars: The film delivers

The film does deliver that edge-of-the-seat excitement, the full pack of entertainment value, the theatric experience. While in the theatre, I could feel the palpable involvement of the audience as they clapped at the entry of one more character, the joy at seeing one more superpower wielded in attack or defense or in protection, the virtual punch-in-the-air as more and more of the superheroes join into the fray. This is it. This is the war to end all wars. Or maybe the war to begin another newer, bigger more unimaginable one. And the audience is right there in the middle of the galactic battlefield.

Did I see you in the theater? Why were you there?

But the review is not quite the reason I am here. In the bringing together of the characters, from all parts of the Earth and the Universe, the Marvel Comics Universe has set in motion quite a revolution.

Go to the theatre and look around. There are those who know each of the characters. And there are those who don’t. The die-hard fans that applaud the entry of each of their superheroes, knowing full well what they can do while the newbies gawk at their superpowers. It’s almost the arrogant joy of predictability among the Knowers because they know well that the right superpower is pitted against the looming evil. And in that knowledge they look down superciliously at the Newbies. Some condescendingly whisper into the Newbie’s ear as to what is happening, some don’t care to do that, they are too engrossed themselves and who wants to waste time on these lesser mortals!

A Cinematic Revolution is on

In doing this MCU has set in motion quite a cinematic revolution. And you and I are an integral part of it. Not only has it brought the crowds back to the cinema but it has brought together a cult following. It has created clans and communities and made theatre an experience again. It has taken movie-going right into the Internet Age – with fans, clans and tribes. This is movie-going like it used to be, but like it never was. This is really how it should be. Will it change again with time? Probably yes. But right now, I am enjoying this moment in the revolution as I eagerly (and very impatiently) wait for the next part – with probably a million other fans! Infinity Wars Part Two anyone?

Oh yes, if you’ve seen the movie, do tell me what you thought about it. And yes, be kind and share this with those less fortunate who have not seen it! If you’ve not seen it, go see it. Or send me tickets to see it once again! Thanks in advance.

8 thoughts on “Avengers: Infinity War – In the midst of a revolution”

  1. As usual, a fabulous post. Though in the section of the script you do give subtle glimpses of spoilers.
    What makes this MCU truly great is that it has connected generations of movie goers. I had a long animated discussion about the movie with my nephew (10), niece (16), cousin (24) ! You are right when you say it’s about the knowers and the newbies, age then becomes just a number!

    1. Thanks Nishant. I started writing about the movie-going revolution. And I think Marvel Studios has done exactly that – made it exciting for any age. I mean, who doesn’t like watching a movie. The genre may vary but the experience can be as much fun. Yes yes, age is just a number – a tad too big on this side of the screen but hey who knows how old Dr Strange is anyway!

  2. “You’re one sandwich away from FAT” is my fav dialogue!!!the dialogues were once again as sharp and witty as the first avengers movie. comic timing brilliance is the secret sauce of a great action movie.

    1. Pushkaraj! Thanks for the comment! I so agree with you. The dialogue is witty and well-timed – and so much part of the action it gives it a greater fillip, don’t you think?

  3. Guess I’m a newbie coz I haven’t been an ardent follower of the timeline. So, many of the super fellas were unknowns. That the film actually had a story and philosophy and kept marching ahead, kept me glued to my seat and oblivious to everything else.

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