Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Impressions of Naming 'Earth'

Yesterday, Matt and I finished 'Earth'. Man, I all I can say is what a surprise ending. As an aside, I am not sure why Lenny-baby was allowed to into protests and riots. If I were a parent, my kid would be no where near a city in strife.


Why is the movie called 'Earth'? This is a question that has a good chance being asked by Prof. Staub tomorrow, and I want to have some idea on how to answer it.

For me, there are a few reasons why the movie was named 'Earth'. For one, after going on wikipeida, the movie is part of Deepa Metha's 3-part trilogy. The other two movies are named 'Fire' (1996) and Water (2005). Other than this fact, one of the reasons I think Metha chose earth was because he is portraying the human element. Throughout the movie, we saw a group of friends torn apart by ethnic and religious violence. Communities were shattered.

One quote really stood out for me. When Dil Navaz (Ice Candy Man) was talking to Shanta after witnessing a Muslim literally torn to parts, he said that if she wouldn't be with him, he would turn into a beast the Lenny was so afraid of. In fighting for his religion, his identity, Navaz alludes that humans are capable of very primal things. Men can become animals; breaking friendships and killing others for religious reasons. Evolutionary violence at its finest. These instincts of humanity are part of the human element on Earth. It is coded in our history. By naming the movie 'Earth', Metha is furthering that allusion.

Another reason why I think Metha chose that name, in the three part series, is because she wanted to expose the profound nightmare that splitting India and Pakistan caused. Though Muslims and Hindus lived on one planet, splitting up territory which had been inhabited under one rule (more or less) for centuries made some feel like the very planet was split. Ground that was shared  is now marked up for others. For Lenny and her older friends, the very essence of their lives were in chaos. The old world was ending, and a dangerous new one beginning. This fact highlights the deep religious divisions on Earth itself. To some, it may not even feel like we live on the same planet.

Earth is something tangible and familiar to us; we live on it. Whether Metha was referring to the planet, or the ground itself,  I think she was making a point about the larger human condition due to religion. Though water is indeed a tangible thing too, its always some foreign and mysterious aspect; we can never conquer it. Humans can, and have, conquered land. Metha is, in my view, trying to expose this abstract fact.

Dil Navaz (Aamir Kan) and Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) of Pysch look awfully similar. Its almost uncanny.

Aamir Khan
Timothy Omundson

1 comment:

  1. Excellent ending to your post. Really ties your points together. How people look or our impressions of them in relation to others makes all the difference.