I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks. First, there was a small matter of finishing up the term in Beijing. That done, I was to be in Hong Kong for a few days. For whatever reason, I didn’t end up going and was in Shanghai for the past few days. My Shanghai term starts tomorrow, and I’ve been busy trying to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. I’ll write a blog post about how the difference I felt between Beijing and Shanghai.

Yesterday, while trying to surf the channels, I ended up on a HBO telecast of Superman the movie- the first and the best so far. The movie initially came out in 1978, but I only watched it in 1989 for the first time. Since then, I’ve watched the movie a few times, but the last time was sometime in mid-90s, before I even turned a teenager.

Superman, or Clark Kent, has always been my favorite superhero, I like Superman more than I love He-Man, and that’s saying something. As somebody put it very eloquently, Superman is the greatest of heroes. Batman isn’t Batman, he’s Bruce Wayne, who’s alter-ego makes him a vigilante. Similarly, Peter Parker becomes Spiderman. However,  Superman is Superman, he becomes Clark Kent to fit amongst us [I’ve paraphrased, and couldn’t find the original author of the quote]. I’ve always loved how in comics/cartoons/movies Superman is always the guy, who’s torn emotionally, and can’t express his love to Lois Lane. He’s the alien among us, who tries to save Earth’s beings from ruining themselves. There was a certain purity to his soul, something that Batman’s dark edged vigilante couldn’t match.

Back to the movie. When I first saw the movie, I was unaware of the subtle nuances, moreso the insertion of sexual undertones in the movie. For instance, when Superman visits Lois Lane’s apartment. She’s dressed in night gown, with revealing just enough skin to titilate the imagination. A class act, and not the crass display of skin usually found nowadays. Yes, Bollywood I’m looking at you. She casually asks him if he could see the color of her panties, in reference to his laser vision. The color was pink – the color of seduction, if I may add. There were other moments, which hint towards the lingering sexual tension between Superman and Lois. Sometimes not so subtle moments, such as when Lois asks “how long are you?”, and then quickly corrects to “how tall?”. Towards the end, Lois blushes when Jimmy Olson points out that Superman has a thing for her. As a kid, I loved ‘Superman – the movie’, for what it represented. The good guy who could fly, catch bullets, out run trains etc. etc., beating the crap out of bad gusy. As an adult, I love the movie for the characterization of Clark in love with Lois, him wanting Lois to love Clark, and not Superman, the amazing chemistry and sexual tension between Lois and Superman. Of course, the SFX during 70’s perhaps couldn’t match today’s technology, but that’s a minor issue.

The sequels haven’t matched up to the technical superiority of the original- story, character development etc. There was even crass scene, depicting the consummation of love between Superman and Lois in the second sequel. The latest sequel, paid homage to original one in many ways. I hope the next movie, whenever it comes out, improves the SFX, and finds the balance between action and character development. Perhaps, a combination of Dark Knight and the original Superman, is what’s needed.

NB – I’m working on the last chapter of ‘Incredible Mr. Joshi’, hopefully by end of this week I’ll post it. I don’t plan to reveal who the murderer is, rather just set up the story, for anyone wishing to solve the crime.


One response to this post.

  1. Hmm, I too saw Superman a long time ago. I think I’ll have to watch it again just to see if it looks different to me now.


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