Monday, December 22, 2014

ET to PK

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

ET – The Extra Terrestrial movie came out in 1982 and now we have our own PK which came out in 2014.  Similar movies with extraterrestrial beings put on earth and can’t get back to their carrier ships because of simple reasons, and are stuck in humanity for a period of time, and how they cope with the earthly circumstances and how we the humans define their emotional and psychological nature in general and how they will survive a hostile and unfriendly nature of people on earth, barring a few good ones.

It was fascinating to watch ET at the time, and even today to see how fragile ET is and still how it is depicted as smart, intelligent and caring towards the little boy and ET depicts the goodness of humans as we can define it.  We really don’t know what is good and bad except as we have developed on our own since our existence, and using the same terminology for extraterrestrials is purely symptomatic of our tendency to think of good and bad in terms of where we are and what we do, but not a relative description of what the ET might want to do.  The most wonderful thing that is depicted in both the movies is the ET’s ability to learn quickly and look at finding a reasonable solution to human problems.  They simply learn quickly and understand our emotions quickly, so they will be behaving in tandem with us earthlings.

Hindu mythology is full of references to such characters and actions, and even has depiction of the most intricate and intelligent actions of these characters to meet the situational demands; both good and bad.  Once again our mythology simply defines our terms of good and bad, and how our mind and heart feels is translated into the actions of good and bad.  In many cases our mythology also defines a good and bad person based on how they look and how they act, and those stereotypes continue to define our behavior equations to date.  WE have essentially molded our life and the way we live and behave based on the depiction of good and bad, what to do verses what not to do, and we continue to use these depictions as yard sticks for the way of our life.  It is not just Hindu mythology, but every religion that exists typically depicts the good and bad, and whosoever follows the religion deciphers the scriptures to their liking and life style.

The examples of PK and ET are excellent derivations of what we want to be and see in humans, that extraterrestrials are projected as beings that are capable of a very nature that embodies the best in humans, while being very smart and intelligent, and also survive the earthly conditions that we have difficulties living with.   While cinema is a medium for us to see and relax (mostly) is not a reflection of our day to day life.  Cinema simply projects what we aspire to be and what we would like to do, but is on celluloid.  Depicting the extraterrestrial beings through our imagination and giving them a earthly nature and allowing them to be a part of our life even for a brief period, always makes it a heart touching experience, especially on the big screen.

With such wonderful experience of seeing someone alien be thrown into the chaos of human life, and somehow learn our ways and become a part of the life of a human, and also engage themselves in a heart touching and wonderful way to help and embrace the human issues, and do it so selflessly and after all is done, just leave the planet back to wherever they come from, is pure fantasy.  For as long as we have lived humans fantasize and dream and visualize the extremeness of the universe and what could be out there, and the depiction of extraterrestrial beings is nothing short of the human imagination at its best to at least for a short time think of the greatest virtues of us; people on this planet.
Not just these two movies made in entirely different context and age and markets, there are many such examples of wonderfully entertaining movies, books and other media that capture our imagination on the wonderful tales of beings from far away who come and try to blend themselves into the realities of earth, and somehow they find a way to quickly adopt and experience the life on earth to the fullest, and at the end they provide the greatest joy to the earthlings by simply helping with the simplest of things that of importance to those they get in contact, and then they go back to wherever they come from.  Doing this while they endear themselves to us.  Enjoy the movies for a couple of hours and just imagine whatever that comes out on screen is simply what would like to be, and should try to be.

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