Demi-gods from the sea? | Daily News


Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Demi-gods from the sea?

Godzilla emerged from the depths of the ocean ages before the carnivore T Rex of Jurassic Park fame dominated Hollywood and world cinema.

The fictional monster Godzilla aka Gojira originated from a series of Japanese films way back in 1954. The character evolved over the decades (let’s forget Darwin’s evolution theory for a change) via 32 Japanese and three Hollywood films followed by video games, novels, comic books and TV programs.

Godzilla was Japan’s answer to America’s nuclear attack that wrecked havoc in the world at the end of Second World War.

Japanese people were dreaded by the real-life happening of nuclear bombings targeting Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This scenario paved way for Jap filmmakers to give birth to Godzilla with the disposition of a prehistoric sea-reptile. The monster is constantly awakened by nuclear blasts that take place in the deep sea and is empowered by nuclear radiation.

As Godzilla evolved over the decades it was slowly transformed from a sea monster feared by the humanity to a more human-friendly one. Thus it became a defender of humanity eventually.

Hollywood used the pay-off line ‘Size matters’ to promote Godzilla (1998) film. However Godzilla in the film was more like an overgrown T Rex.

Hollywood films eventually adopted the snobby disposition of original Godzilla depicted in Japanese films to let go of their own version of Dinosaur like creature.

The newest Godzilla movie (Godzilla: King of the Monsters) being a sequel to Godzilla (2014) brings to surface demolishing powers of not only Godzilla but also of its allies such as Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah, the three headed monster.

The film habitually deals with good and the evil.

Emma Russell works for crypto-zoological organization Monarch to track down and study Titans, a breed of giant monsters that once dominated the Earth. Emma and her daughter are kidnapped by the eco-terrorist Alan Jonah and his team.

Jonah also seizes the device called ‘Orca’ from Emma, capable of emitting frequencies only Titans can hear. (Titan depicts Greek religion and mythology. In Buddhist writings, Asura the low-level demigods are also known as Ogre or Titan. Asuras have three heads)

Jonah forcefully gets Emma to free a ferocious three-headed Titan sheathed in the thick ice for ages that is called Monster Zero aka Ghidorah. In Mexico, Jonah orders Emma to wake up yet another Titan called Rodan. (Rodan resembles Eth Kanda Lihiniya depicted in Sinhala folk stories)

Meanwhile scientists team up with Emma’s ex-husband to revive Godzilla to fight against the Titans.

Godzilla emerges from the ocean and clashes with evil Titans. Japanese scientist in the ‘good guys’ team sacrifices his life when he manually detonates the weapon to revive Godzilla. In the battle to free the world from Titans, Emma too sacrifices her life.

Destructive battle comes to end when Godzilla finally destroys Ghidorah.

The film ends with a scene of a fisherman disclosing one of Ghidorah’s decapitated heads to Jonah and the latter buying it, with a hint of an impending threat.

The 2019 film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters has cutting edge technology, the best of visual effects and action sequences. It could be thus described as Hollywood at its best.

Music scores and catchy dialogues that are unique to Hollywood films manage to have grip.

Yet the film fails to keep an audience at the edge of their seats as the storyline has no innovative attributes. The story hardly stirs up emotion hence the viewer becomes board at times.

Makers of the film have emphasized on action with a poor screenplay that neglects the human touch which hampers universal appeal for the film. The average filmgoer becomes bored since there is too much clashes between Titans while humans are kept at bay. Thus time has come for the makers to get away from Godzilla film theme from its 1950s monotonous pattern and evolve with time to cater to new breed of filmgoers.

Godzilla has a right to be unique and innovative and filmmakers of this genre should not make films that take the audiences on an African safari.

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