Posted by Vikranth on February 26, 2013
Been a long time since I last updated this blog so its time I get back to writing. Recently watched Prometheus, a movie directed by Ridley Scott and was released on June 8. There were a lot of high expectations due it being a kind of prequel to the cult series “Alien” and it was a long time since a good sci-fi movie came out so I was pumped up to watch this one. So my first impressions are that it is completely different from the “alien” movies. The tone and narrative is completely different. In the older “alien” movies, the narrative is about survival from an alien life form, the settings back then were underlit space ships and claustrophobia along with a strong female lead who survives aganist all the odds. But in Prometheus, the intent is not to scare but to explore new ideas. The tone was different, meditative I must say and there are no claustrophobic interiors but the audience are shown a far more scary alien world inhabited by some species which have long become extinct. There are metaphysical overtones which stress on the orign of humans on planet earth and the concept of creation is explored. But apart from all the gorgeous visuals and good intentions, It is lacking in some core areas which would have made it a great film. The film is riddled with plot holes and irrational characterization. apart from Fassbender who plays an android, all the other cast were mediocre. There were plenty of cardboard chracters whose sole purpose was to die in the hands of aliens. A lack of detail is a bane in any sci-fi movie because the small things are what makes a fictional universe seem real and gripping.
But Prometheus is still an excellent sci-fi movie. Why? because it is intelligent and its slow pace settles us into a moody atmosphere where you are left thinking about humanity and its origins. Maybe I am exaggerating but almost everyone left the cinema theater in a kind of contemplative mood. I think this is the power of sci-fi, to make us think about larger issues in our present through a fictional future setting. If we can look past the errors, what we get is an amazing fictional story of the evolution of human beings and its nemesis. So to conclude this rant, first throw the hype in the dustbin and then watch Prometheus.
Posted by Vikranth on June 20, 2012
where do we come from?
why do we exist?
These are some questions that have occupied many great men throughout history. When Darwin published his “Origin of Species” the first question has finally got an answer. His thesis of natural selection and evolution has set the stage for unraveling of one of the greatest mysteries of humanity i.e. how did we come into existence. Now it is clear that humans, chimpanzees and gorillas and other apes have evolved from a common ancestor. The idea that human beings like other animals are shaped by the geological conditions and pure chance was a blasphemy to many god-fearing scientists of that time and it is still now. The theological view that god created humans separate from other animals and has bestowed us with intelligence is complete bullshit. This complete mystification of our roots has enabled the elite classes to rule over their subjects through fear and gained legitimacy to their rule. But science has laid out a correct methodology to understand the world around us and the same evolutionary medicine is used to understand multiple diseases and their prevention, it is time the facts are heard but is anyone ready to listen? Present times have one advantage over the older periods, the easy flow of information but it has become an information chaos with overloading of information and things which matter are hardly heard over the loud sirens of advertisements and popular media. But nevertheless human knowledge has progressed at a phenomenal rate.
As for the second question: Why did we exist? there is no single correct answer but my opinion is that human existence is just a random event, a branch in the great evolutionary web of life, here i am not being nihilistic, human existence has no grand inherent purpose to fulfill, just survival. I would also deny the notion that “it is the survival of the fittest”, often this idea is applied to society in a rather vulgar way and used to justify all the inequalities happening around us. It was never the survival of the strongest but it is the survival of the most adaptable to change and our society is not an analogy to nature and laws of natural science cannot be applied here. To conclude this random rant, there is a lot going around us and we grow only when we study the world around us and apply it through practice. So learning about evolution is necessary for everyone in order to correctly comprehend reality and dispel the ancient superstition called Religion.
Posted by Vikranth on December 19, 2011