Jurassic World and our inner feelings

As we demolish natural resources on earth, we have to wonder if a similar fate awaits us.

Published: Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:50 PM

There is something less obvious but deep-rooted within us that makes us so fascinated — or should we say spellbound — by dinosaurs. Jurassic World, sequel to a series of three hits called Jurassic Park, broke US and global opening weekend collection records by earning $205 million in North America and $512 million worldwide.

The movie is set to gross way more than the collective earnings of the three earlier versions, which was over $1.5 billion. This does not include sales from merchandise, books and theme parks that the movies spawned. Apart from the fact that these are well made movies — at least by popular perception—lets see what else draws us in droves to watch these super-sized creatures on silver screen.

Dinosaurs ruled the earth for 165 million years, adopting different shapes, sizes and forms for survival and scripting what scientists believe to be the most unqualified success in the history of life on the earth. Humans have been on this planet only for a period between two lakh to 25,000 years (just 0.12 per cent of the dinosaurs period). So, the sheer variety of dinosaurs offers moviemakers a very broad set of characters to play with.

Unlike comic characters — in the Avengers series, for instance — dinosaurs are not historically unreal. There have been clear and repeated evidence of their existence in most geographies. So, when we watch them moving on the screen, the experience is not completely unreal. The context is fictional, but the creatures could have been real. And given the advancements in medical science, it’s easy to ask people to stretch their imagination and believe, at least while they are watching the movie, that dinosaurs can indeed be reborn.

Superhero movies often have super villains. Jurassic movies show dinosaurs as both heroes and villains — quite like the human beings. As we get addicted to more and more on dinosaurs, there is one aspect of their existence we can explore and understand better. What made dinosaurs, the most dominant of all species on land ever, to go extinct? Though there is no proven theory, it is said that diplodocus, the largest dinosaurs, ate up most of the vegetation within its reach and often died because of lack of food. As we demolish natural resources on earth, we have to wonder if a similar fate awaits us. That’s a bigger-than-$512-million question.

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