Thursday, June 14, 2007

Independence Day

There are some books that make your heart race while their onscreen versions fail to catch the magic(eg. The Da Vinci Code) while there are still others which are tedious for the normal reader in the written format but make for lively viewing as a movie(eg. Jurassic Park). But, there are a rare few that keep people at the edge of their seats both as a book and as a film. One such is the Independence Day. (Ok V___, I’ve nothing to say about the fourth group of films which are pathetic both as a book and as a movie.... why waste time?)

My earliest experience with this story was when I was a kid and was taken to the movie by my uncle(who is a movie buff) with the entire family. I remember sleeping through half the film(or, rather, three-quarters of the film) and then waking up groggily at the end when everyone is happy and then being dragged by my mom to the car from the theatre. I, for one, hate movies that make me sleep. Come on! If a movie cannot sustain my interest the first time round, then what was the guarantee that it will in the following times? (believe me, I’ve gone through lots of stupid tamil, telugu and malayalam movies and sat through them patiently without a blink of shut-eye! So, if a movie can make me sleep, then imagine how pathetic it should have been!).

After the first bad experience with ID(Independence Day :)), I avoided it as much as I could. I’ve escaped from seeing it in star movies, HBO, our local cable channel, etc dozens of times. Even when my brother was seized with an irrepressible urge to see all the English movies he could lay hands on, he couldn’t convince me to watch that movie with him. But, all of this changed when I saw the book! N___ brought along that book when we had gone on a family trip and I couldn’t help glancing through it. Even then, I wasn’t so interested (very atypical of me, if you remember the penchant I have for books of any kind) remembering the bad experience I had with it earlier. She started telling me about it assuming I had already seen the movie and slowly interested me into reading it.

I had already been accustomed to reading about extraterrestrials and the search for them(courtesy, Carl Sagan’s Contact) and thought that I can give ID a try(or rather a retry). Worst case, I would have one more bad experience with it :). But, once I started, I couldn’t stop. It kept me on the edge till the end and made me get a DVD of the film and watch it. Wow!! I still can’t believe how I slept through the movie the first time. Guess it was a combined case of exams(quarterly exams, if I remember right), playing all afternoon and evening and a sumptuous dinner just before the movie that induced me to sleep.

My favorite character in the movie was Steve Hiller. I like his cool-come-what-may attitude and his belief in cigars for victory dance. Especially, his plane drives and the final journey with David was great! And, Tom Whitmore is the type of a leader that each country should have during times of crisis, if not all the time. We need leaders like that in each country who put their country’s well being before theirs and their family’s. Both Jasmine and Connie symbolize the bravery of women during times of hardship. And, David’s character has been etched well. That reminds me! Julius(David’s dad) has a minor role to play in the movie but he seems to have brought the entire thing together. Kudos to him. Every character(right from the silent man whom Jas picks up on her way to El Toro to Russel) has been etched well and has been chosen with care in the movie.

Some of the scenes in the movie were spectacular. Especially, the scenes showing the aliens and their vehicles(the attackers, the city destroyers) were cool. And, the scene where Jasmine comes out of the tunnel with her son Dylan after surviving the wipeout only to see a devastated LA touched me like no other. Imagine coming out of dark tunnels towards light only to find that life is no longer the same and you wish you were better dead than living! The terror and later, hope in the eyes of normal citizens says it all throughout the film. The film is the basic good-wins-over-evil story but the portrayal is fantastic! It brings out the true spirit of mankind and shows us what can be achieved if we put away our differences and join hands together to save Mother Earth and ourselves. Let our children lead a life of peace and harmony. Let them have a world devoid of bloodshed, pollution, nuclear wars and most of all, fear. Let them be fearless! This is our responsibility towards the future generation(rather than having better technology, more money and more countries and governments).

In short, ID, by Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich and Stephen Molstad, is sure to enter the “Top100 English films to be seen” list. Long time since I knew a story in which both the book and movie were equally good. Though it is years late, it is still not too late to enjoy the movie or the book. Folks! If you’ve not seen it, I would surely recommend this movie for the weekend. If you’ve seen it, one more time is time well spent :)

P.S: And the book is better(the reader in me says :) )


Princess Banter said...

Really?!?!? I never read the book but I absolutely loved the movie! I'll defo pick it up from the bookstore and give it a read. I'll let you know what I think ;)

Cuckoo said...

My experience is that books are better than movies, the simple reason being movie can't capture everything that is covered in the book.

Well, I haven't seen a movie first & then read the book so about the opposite can't say the same.

The Black King said...

Never read that book --- a link to the Amazon site please?

Velocity said...

Independence Day..!!!

Well., as a movie i've enjoyed the moments we (us humans basically) defeat the aliens in the end ...

But it seems u watched it many times over., coz u got too much of details...

i don't remember the cast or the crew of the movie.. except a few faces.. " our hero - will smith - u can call him steve.. captain steve.. "..n " our science wizards too... unfortunately he gets a re-union with his wife.. worth his risk in he took alien ship..."

hey., after seeing the movie.. as a kid i was really scared., b'coz.. hmmm i was a kid then.,that time around the alien ship was too big for me to handle..

But when i saw it again ( many times ) a few years back., my thoughts were glued on the alien technology., light weight alloys., Anti-gravity generators., Direct energy " thats pure energy.." lasers.. may be i get an industrial visit or internship in alien's place r atleast the alien ship, then i would learn more..

As for novel.. which 1 r u referring to... silent zone.. r the other 1... since novels rolled out after the movie.. i missed reading tat.,

Anyways.. Great Post... Keep up the good work..!

Long live Earth...!!
Aliens keep out...!!!

alpine path said...

Princess Banter, I'm sure you'd like it. And, I'd be waiting for your thoughts on it too :)

cuckoo, true! The book is anyday better than the movie. But, some like Jurassic Park tend to become boring for the normal reader(I don't mind though:))

black king, the link is
I've put the names of the authors in the last paragraph. Do tell me if you still can't find it.

velocity, thanks! :) I read the book first and that sort of helped me remember more when I saw the movie. So far, I've seen it only twice. Yeah! Some movies and most books usually help us to look at them from different perspectives as we grow up. That is the sheer beauty of books.

Vishnupriya Janardhanan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

guess this's something dat'd top my priority list these dayz..i'd make it a point to watch it coz i favor sci-fi..nice post :)

alpine path said...

vishnupriya, this is a definite worth-read book.. yeah! I agree with you about books being elaborate in their details and hence spice up the entire scenario much more :) Tell me your opinion after you read the book.

Lavender, yup! its worth it. Atleast the movie if you can't get your hands on the book. Do tell me how it goes.